UNICEF rushes relief to flood-hit Indian states

Saturday, September 25, 2010

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is helping India in rushing relief supplies to millions of people uprooted from their homes in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttarakhand by heavy floods.

The agency has supplied tarpaulin sheets, jerry cans, water purification tablets and mosquito nets, among other items, to more than 8,000 displaced families in Uttar Pradesh. It has also pre-positioned its supplies in 10 high-risk districts to help 10,000 families.

Nearly 1.7 million people in Uttar Pradesh have been affected by heavy rainfall and floods in the major rivers of the state, UNICEF noted in a news release. The state Government there has set up 276 relief posts to distribute food and health supplies.

Meanwhile, the breach of support embankments of the Gandhak River has resulted in the flooding of 35 villages in Gopalganj and Siwan districts in Bihar.

UNICEF sent supplies to Gopalganj, including 282 bags of bleaching powder, 208,000 water purifying tablets, 5,000 oral rehydration salt sachets, 1,000 hygiene kits and soap, following a request by the state Government.

In Uttarakhand, close to half a million people in 369 villages across the state have been affected. A number of roads including national highways have been damaged or blocked due to landslides.

The central government has rushed in relief to the affected areas and deployed battalions from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, Gopalgunj in Bihar and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

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