In the first week of September 2014, the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India experienced the worst flood that it had seen in 60 years. The incessant rain gave rise to the swelling of Jhelum river and its tributaries; submerging houses and leaving people stranded on rooftops. In some places, the water rose to over 12 feet. More than 10,000,000 people were affected and over 100,000 houses suffered damage across 19 districts. Considering the extensive devastation across both rural and urban areas, these floods were declared a national calamity by the Prime Minister’s office. Families across Poonch and Pulwama districts were some of the worst affected. SEEDS’ intervention therefore focused on these two areas.
SEEDS responded to immediate housing and basic needs of 314 flood-affected families across 58 villages in Poonch and Pulwama districts by providing shelter relief kits; inclusive of a weather-resistant tent, utensil kit, bedding kit and hygiene kit.
23 temporary learning centers were established for schools whose buildings were either washed away or severely damaged. This involved setting up school tents with floor mats, temporary toilets and fire extinguishers. Each school was provided with at least two teaching aid kits that had a blackboard, chalk, table, chair, register and pen. School kits were distributed to over 2500 children across 64 schools. Each kit had a school bag, lunch box, water bottle and stationary items.
While working in the region SEEDS realized that multiple families there were in dire need of some interim arrangement to survive the winters. Consequently, SEEDS supported 192 families across 14 villages in Pulwama district with transitional shelters.
Currently, SEEDS has finished the reconstruction of two schools in the Pulwama district that were severely damaged during the floods and is planning to construct three more. Before reconstruction, the children in these schools were forced to do with make shift arrangement which not only lacked basic amenities but were also very unsafe.