Friday 31 August 2018
August 2018, Save the Children, India initiated a WASH activity in Muttar, a village in upper Kuttanad, Alappuzha district of Kerala as an effort to promote hygiene and to prevent an outbreak of disease in this flood affected village.
As part of this activity, 10 volunteers from the MGNREGA project were hired to clean up the local community centre which has been badly damaged by the floods. All of the 10 volunteers are women and they were given essential items like gumboots, gloves, bleaching powder and brooms to clean up the community centre. It has also been decided that they will be paid at par with MGNREGA project for the work they do.
Suma is 44 years old and she is part of Kudambashree group and a MGNREGA volunteer who is helping in cleaning the community centre at Muttar village. She lives with her husband, in laws and 2 daughters in Muttar, village. She was also affected by the floods that hit her village.
The narrow canal that lies just behind the community centre started to overflow because of incessant rainfall and the sudden opening of the dam flood gates. The water from that canal started flowing towards the village and into people’s homes. Though Suma stays on higher ground, yet her house was completely surrounded by water. Her cattle shed got flooded and she had to move her cattle to a safe place. She said “I live on higher ground and that is the reason why water did not enter my house but it was shocking to see how high the water level had risen”.
Suma had to move her elderly in laws to her relative’s house in order to ensure their safety. Many houses in that village have been badly damaged and the entire village has been covered in plastic and garbage carried by the flood water. Suma had never seen or experienced floods before. It is very unusual for her village to get flooded as it is not a low lying area.
Suma is now one of the volunteers who are helping in cleaning up the community center. She said “This community centre is where we have all our health programs, community programs, activities for children and vocational training. It is very important to clean up this centre so that the entire village will be able to have safe access to it facilities”.
She is very happy as she can now help in restoring her village through our program.