Here is a great opportunity for an individual, a company, an organisation, a group of people or a country to set an example to others for their humanitarian work.
Two weeks’ ago, the world witnessed massive floods in Kerala. People came together to save tens of thousands of lives. We witnessed fishermen and ordinary people from all walks of life becoming heroes and saving other people from the calamity. People of the state put their socio-political and religious differences aside and came together with one goal.
It has been almost two weeks since the water started receding. The government of Kerala and its people have taken the clean-up mission on a mass scale with about 60,000 volunteers from across the state. While flood-hit people elsewhere in Kerala are trying to return to their routines, the region of Kuttanad has a very different story to share.
Thousands of hectares in Kuttanad still remain submerged. Tens of thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes as they have lost all of their dreams and savings. Kuttanad is a region covering the Alappuzha and Kottayam Districts, in the state of Kerala, India, and is well known for its vast paddy fields and geographical peculiarities.
There is water everywhere, but, not a drop to drink! Flood is not new to Kuttanad, which is 2.2 metres below sea level. The region’s water bodies have to bear the outflow from four rivers. The flood water from the eastern hills and towns of central Kerala have submerged the region twice this monsoon, displacing around 300,000 people from their houses.
The crop loss in Kuttanad is yet to be estimated. The only certainty is that the entire second crop has been washed out and the fields are not in shape to yield harvest. Paddy in 7,000 hectares was destroyed in July’s floods. The latest flood submerged the rest of the crop on another 3,000 hectares.
It is estimated that a minimum of Rs120 crores, an equivalent of Dh650 million, is required just to reconstruct the destroyed houses. The UAE has already set an example to the world for their charity and giving. More people should step up.
- The reader is a resident of Dubai.