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Assam facing deepening humanitarian crisis, says Oxfam

Posted by Jonaid Jilani Press Officer

29th Aug 2012

Flooding in Assam
The people of Assam are facing two disasters, making one of the worst humanitarian crises in the last decade. The most severe floods in the past 14 years have affected around two million people across 27 districts of Assam, while ethnic tensions have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.


"Oxfam is appealing for help to provide effective relief in some of the badly affected camps in Assam. The situation is very grim and is worsening. We are asking the international community as well as corporate organisations, institutions, funding agencies, public and mass media for mobilizing resources to meet this humanitarian funding. ", said Nisha Agrawal Oxfam India CEO.
While people in Assam are coping with the effects of the flooding, 80 people have died in ethnic tensions there, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to flee their homes. But the situation in the camps where many people have fled to is alarming. There is a clear need for water, sanitation and hygiene at the camps, with reports of around 20,000 cases of diarrhoea.
Around 15,000 people in one camp only have access to six latrines and three hand pumps for water. People are defecating in the open and there is a clear demand for more drinking water and water for cooking. There is also a demand for private spaces for women to bathe. In another large camp in Assam with around 13,000 people, there are three latrines and six hand pumps, people are consuming water from the nearby pond and there are also defecating in the open.  

Emergency shelter is needed, especially as more vulnerable people head to the camps, which are already over populated. Many are having to stay in schools, primary health and community centres, and as these are becoming full, large volumes of plastic sheeting are required to help with shelter and cover the growing need.


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact Jonaid Jilani on +44 (0)18 65 472193 or +44 (0)7810 181514 or or

People are in urgent need of help, please give as much as you to help those affected by floods and ethnic tensions in Assam by going to,

£5         can give one farming family one month's seeds and vouchers
£7         can give one hand pump repair kit
£20        can provide a hygiene kit for one family
£50         can treat the water for a whole village for two months (Oxfam is targeting up to 55 villages)

If you can only spare £5 and are in the UK ONLY you can also text DONATE5 to 70066
Please note, number 5 after word DONATE. For UK phones only. This text donation only works with £5, if anyone wishes to donate any other amount they need to go to

(*Each text donates £5, SMS texts are charged at your standard network rates. We will receive around 97% depending on your network provider)  

What is Oxfam India doing to help people?

· Oxfam India has initiated a three-month programme targeting 4,500 households (around 30,000 people) - 2,500 households to be covered in Kokrajhar district and 2,000 households in Chirang district. The response includes:
· Oxfam India's response is towards providing safe water in the camps through water storage and distribution system in coordination with government Public Health Engineering department, distribution of water treatment tablets, water storage containers etc.
· The provision of safe sanitation facilities in the camps includes setting up and maintaining temporary latrines and bathing cubicles for women and girls for hygiene and privacy.  
· Camp environment cleaning and public health promotions in the camps to prevent disease outbreaks.
· Providing emergency shelter (tarpaulin, ground sheet/mats, mosquito nets) to the most vulnerable households.

Blog post written by Jonaid Jilani

Press Officer

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