People living in the Indian State of Bihar are currently suffering through deadly flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains in the northern and eastern regions of the state. These rains have over burdened rivers, causing banks to swell. More than 200 people have died as a result of the flooding and more than six million people have been displaced. A total of 108,870 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the floods. Of the 20 districts that have suffered the deluge, Kahalgaon and Bhagalpur were hardest hit.
According to SPHERE India, among the biggest needs right now is clean drinking water. In many of these districts, hand pumps represent the main source of potable water. Because of the inundation of contaminated floodwaters, the majority of hand pumps in affected regions have been submerged. In areas where water has receded, the hand pumps that were not destroyed have been contaminated. This lack of clean drinking water is severely impacting the local populations. Manohar Sharma, a local resident of the Vaishali District, told the Hindustan Times that, “There is water and more water all around. But we do not have a drop to drink.” Due to the high level of contamination in the region, there is also serious threat of waterborne disease.
A GlobalFire volunteer has deployed in conjunction with our sister charity GlobalMedic as part of a Rapid Response Team to install water purification units and distribute water purification tablets in the state of Bihar. This program will ensure that most affected communities in Bihar, India, will have access to clean drinking water.
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