Varanasi is facing the worst flooding situation since year 1978. The Ganges river in the district has crossed the danger mark and waters are increasing every day. This has inundated low lying areas in and around Varuna and Ganges river. More than 100,000 people have been affected by these floods that have forced people to flee their homes to a safer shelter. Flood water has entered up to the 1st floor of most homes, forcing people to either vacate or live on roof tops. The situation has worsened by heavy downpour of rains lashing throughout the city. With little help from the government, people are forced to live on roof tops and spend the night groping in the dark without electricity, food and drinking water. Women and children have been the most affected.
With the shortage of rescue boats in the city, and failure of immediate response by government forces, many are left stranded without help. Many have left their belongings and moved to their relatives or other adjoining districts. Thousands have been admitted in hospitals with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever due to drinking dirty sewage water.
TellAsia’s regional office spun into action with relief work in the affected areas. They distributed over 5,000 food packets, packaged drinking water, and powdered milk for infants and children. It was heart melting to see women lowering their sari’s (traditional Indian apparel worn by women) from roof tops for receiving food packets and other items. Poor village children of our Compassion project donated flour, edible oil and other items from their homes for the flood affected people.
Churches in Varanasi have been organizing all-night prayers for the flood waters to recede. House churches of our 2020 Network partners in low lying areas have been badly affected with pastors abandoning their houses and fleeing their villages along with their families not knowing when to return. District Administration has closed down most of the schools in the city. The situation is grim with water levels increasing day by day.