Children who fled their homes to escape floods in northern India are dying from disease because of dirty contaminated water and a lack of decent toilets and washing facilities in the camps where they are living.
Tuesday 9 September 2008
Save the Children has heard reports that 32 children have died from diarrhoea, vomiting and fever in Araria and Sapaul camps in Bihar province. The international children’s charity fears that without more help this number will rise.
Thomas Chandy, head of Save the Children in India said: “Conditions in these flood camps are terrible. People use the same stagnant water for bathing as well as washing their clothes and utensils. With little else to occupy them, children are playing around in this water and inadvertently drinking it and getting sick. ”
It is now three weeks since floodwaters first breached the banks of the Kosi river and many areas are still submerged.
Mr Chandy said: “This emergency is far from over. Some children will be living in relief camps for another six months and without big improvements more of them will die of disease. Young children are particularly susceptible to water-borne diseases, like diarrhoea, which are a huge risk in a situation like this.”
The flooding in northern India is currently affecting five million people, including three million children. Save the Children is calling on world governments to donate money to this emergency to help aid agencies respond to the needs of these children.
Source: Save the Children, 09 Sep 2008
- UNICEF India chief reaffirms commitment towards Bihar’s children, UNICEF, 06 Sep 2008
- WHO assists in disease surveillance and medical supplies during Kosi river floods, WHO/SEARO, 06 Sep 2008
For updates on water and sanitation-related issus of the Bihar floods go to ReliefWeb
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