The cyclone that slammed India’s eastern coast over the weekend caused widespread damage there, but very little damage to Heifer projects, Heifer India Country Director Avni Malhotra reported to Heifer headquarters on Monday.
While information gathering was hindered by the loss of electricity after the storm, Malhotra said no Heifer farmers were among the 17 reported dead. Only one Heifer home was reported damaged, and the damage was caused by a falling tree. More flooding is expected, however.
The New York Times said Monday that Cyclone Phailin washed away thousands of homes, damaged crops and was expected to drop another 10 inches of rain over the coming two days. It will probably take weeks to form an assessment of the storm’s true damage.
As of Sunday evening, the cyclone had been downgraded to a depression.
Malhotra said that Heifer can help many of the families affected rebuild their livelihoods, even if they are not currently involved in projects. Heifer India will participate in meetings to determine a possible role in disaster recovery.
Heifer staff, partners and community members have received training in Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction, Malhotra said. So far there are no reports of animal casualties or crop damage. We will share more information as we receive it.
Flooding is common during this time of year in Cambodia, but the recent storms dropped so much water on the region that more than 30 people have been confirmed dead. While Heifer International focuses on long-term solutions to hunger and poverty, we recognize natural disasters can render already vulnerable communities nearly helpless. Please consider donating to our Disaster Rehabilitation Fund, which helps these communities recuperate after natural disasters that temporarily overwhelm our development efforts.
About Heifer International:
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 888-5HUNGER (888-548-6437).