APPEAL - Uttarakhand Flood Relief 2013


Appeal for Support

Uttarakhand Disaster Relief – June 2013


You may be aware that in the recent few weeks heavy rain followed by flooding and landslides has caused
immense disaster and tragedy in the State of Uttarakhand and in some parts of Himachal Pradesh.


In Uttarakhand the high altitude districts of Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh, Chamoli and Uttarkashi received the brunt of the the rain and also the brunt of the consequent disasters.


The news media, the Governments (States and Central), the politicians and other major agencies have been focussed on the Char Dham pilgrimage centres where people from all over India had been travelling to. The scale and impact of the devastation in these places as well as other less known places has been unprecedented.


Other river valleys, in the non Char Dham regions have been quite severely affected as well, however not much attention has been paid to the many 100's of families who have been cut off and stranded by flood impact. The higher administration has had its resources diverted and the local administration is unable to cope with the urgency of the situation.


One of the areas severely affected has been the Kali and Gori Ganga river basins of Pithoragarh District.
Down To Earth has already carried an article on this aspect Twice Hit by Flood Pithoragarh Gets No Relief


In the Gori Valley alone many foot bridges, some as old as 55 years have been swept away. These include all the bridges connecting the 14 Upper Johar Valley villages as well as the main foot bridges at Basantkot and Gharudi (Swing bridges). Many sections of the “only motoroble” road between Jauljibi and Madkot have been washed away. Current access is only via a series of jeep hops interspersed with crossings of treacherous landslides and in some cases even having to wade through waist deep water. This makes access to any sort of supplies and help very difficult. Villages on the non road side of the valley can be accessed only after a hard days difficult and dangerous walk, at the very minimum.


Along the Gori River Valley (Dharchula, Didihaat and Munsiari Tehsils) most of the devastation has been in villages and settlements along the river. Old landslides have reactivated and have become future hazards while many new landslides have been formed as well.


The loss of human life has, so far, been minimal – which also may be because information is not available for many of the remote and high altitude villages. In most cases livestock are safe with a few animals having been lost in the floods.


In the days of the flood, and immediately after the main flood, members of Himal Prakriti – A Trust for Nature – visited affected sections of the valley and met with people from many disaster struck villages. We have established links in order for immediate and long term requirements to be communicated. Some members of Himal Prakriti who live in the lower and affected sections of the valley have been providing specific village wise requirements.


In at least 15 hamlets about 200 families have lost their homes and farms . These families are amongst the poorest and are already facing the first impact of simply being ignored. Many of these families have less than a weeks worth of food supplies, they have no power and are living in crude shelters or what remains of their homes. Some families are living in tents provided as part of the Government relief mechanism, Water lines in some villages have been affected further compounding the problems. Some these hamlets lie in a dead zone for mobiles preventing even this form of communication. Electricity lines have collapsed and is not expected to be repaired until the road lines are open which itself will take
many months of work.


Added to this is the fact that the normal monsoon cycle has just begun, in what is expected to a long and troublesome monsoons, which normally end in the beginning of September that is at least another 60 days away.


Within the next week Himal Prakriti with support from other agencies in Uttarakhand will be procuring and delivering food supplies to about 200 families. The supplies are being arranged to be delivered to the nearest accessible place and in some cases directly to the villages .


The Local MLA arranged for some food supplies to be distributed from locally available stocks , however these stocks as well private shop stocks have already run out and the poorer families are still to be supported in any significant manner.


Immediate relief is being planned, by Himal Prakriti, for families in the hamlets of

  1. Ghattabagad (Toli Gram Sabha, Dharchula tehsil) ,

  2. Gharudi and Mankot Hamlets (Mawani Dawani Gram Sabha, Munsiari Tehsil) ,

  3. Umaragada and Khinwagaon (Shilling Gram Sabha, Munsiari Tehsil)

  4. Choribagad (Gram Sabha Choribagad, Dharchula Tehsil)


We expect to extend the support more families from the region as well as in the Upper Johar Valley as and when more specific information reaches us.

Planned and active relief work

Immediate and Urgent

In the immediate few days Himal Prakriti is already in the process of undertaking the following :

  1. Basic Food Supplies to around 200 families

  2. Solar Lighting for around 200 families ( Low cost D.Light Solar lanterns )

  3. Basic Medical supplies

  4. Continual assessment of urgent requirements from affected communities

Medium Term

  1. Providing support for creating secure shelters for displaced families

  2. Securing clean drinking water supply

  3. Provisioning of agricultural seeds to reestablish farms

  4. Construction of access trolley ropeways to the most disconnected villages

  5. Solar home lighting systems

Long Term – Working to avert such tragedies

For the last two decades members of Himal Prakriti have been working in the region on issues concerning the environment, natural resources, conservation, securing local livelihood and when required supporting communities affected by natural disasters. For the past 8 years Himal Prakriti has also been working with local communities, people's groups and national alliances to understand and inform about the current paradigm of , and consequences of “big” development. Should you choose you could contribute to Himal Prakriti's long term “Averting Future disasters and Tragedies” fund in order to helping prepare for the future and to help avert such tragedies. The support would go towards helping Himal Prakriti to :

  1. Provide policy level interventions for better disaster planning and preparedness

  2. Constructive and Conservation based “Development” Advocacy

  3. Monitoring of changing Weather & Climate patterns based accurate and scientific data and analysis

  4. Monitoring the health of the rivers of the Kali, Gori and their tributaries and informing about the possible impacts of large scale river and landscape alterations

  5. Specific Support to affected communities as per their requirements

We request your kind and generous assistance and support in helping the affected families recover from the disaster and also in helping work towards averting future such tragedies.


For details of where and how to send your contributions / donations kindly contact us via email at malika.virdi@gmail.com and himalprakriti@gmail.com


More specific information is available on these links Google Crisis Response – Uttarakhand 2013 , while Himal Prakriti will also provide details and updates of the disaster and well as of the relief work being undertaken on our website

Ms Malika Virdi

Founder & Managing Trustee

Himal Prakriti

Munsiari, District Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand, India 262 554

Phone +91 9411194041,

email - malika.virdi@gmail.com,

email - himalprakriti@gmail.com

E Theophilus

Founder & Member

Himal Prakriti

Munsiari, District Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand, India 262 554

Phone +91 9456105758, +91 7830966833

email - etheophilus@gmail.com
K. Ramnarayan

Founder & Member

Himal Prakriti

Munsiari, District Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand, India 262 554

Phone +91 9411194042, +91 8449660486

email - ramnarayan.k@gmail.com