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More than a quarter of Indian population in India, mostly living in rural parts, is facing extreme drought conditions and severe heat wave. In a preliminary survey conducted by IGSSS through its partners in 18 districts in Bundelkhand (Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh), Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra suggests that more than one million households are facing worse drought conditions.

 

Courtesy: AP

Courtesy: AP

 

Some of the major observations on the impact of drought reported in the survey are:

  • Extensive damages to major crops in all districts

 

  • People face inadequate drinking water

 

  • Consumption of nutritional food has gone down

 

  • Livestock deaths due to starvation is increasing

 

  • Women travel distance to fetch water giving rise to poor hygienic practices

 

  • People are migrating to urban area for livelihood opportunities

 

  • Dropout rates specially for girl children are increasing due to lack of water facilities

 

 

IGSSS has activated its Emergency Response Team. The team is gathering relevant information from the field to plan its next course of action in the worst affected districts.

Immediate Response:

  • Emergency water, food/supplementary nutrition in Anganwadi Centres, especially for pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescent girls, as well as older people who have not been able to migrate outside

 

  • Treatment of contaminated active drinking water points

 

  • Immediate health responses (awareness and prevention, palliative) for water related diseases like diarrhea and dysentery as well as heat induced sunstrokes, vaccination camps for livestock

 

  • Re-opening cool community sheltering places like schools, currently not functioning in the heat

 

  • Community led construction of safe storage spaces for food grains and separate livestock shelters

 

  • Food for work programmes (farm pond and land development, repair and renovation of water harvesting structures, construction and cleaning of field bunds, check dams, trenches and canals, repair and construction of irrigation and drinking water structures, revival of water facilities for livestock)

 

  • Seed support to farmers (free and subsidized), keeping in mind seasonality and context

 

  • Advocacy for release of pending payments and increased number of workdays under MGNREGA, follow up for crop insurance related processes.