Kerala HERO 1440x490

CAF Global Alliance

REBUILDING KERALA ONE YEAR AFTER THE FLOODS

During a disaster, CAF India rallied partners to help address the needs of the community.

Helping communities in the aftermath of a disaster

After the worst floods and landslides for a century left a trail of destruction in India’s idyllic tourist hotspot Kerala, killing more than 400 people and forcing thousands from their homes, CAF India mobilised its many partners to help coordinate not just immediate assistance, but a crucial plan for longer term support for the region.

Part of the CAF Global Alliance, which work across six continents, CAF India specialises in rallying a multitude of partners to not just deliver aid in a disaster-prone part of the world but to do so with a high level of diligence, assuring donors, civil society and government that their contributions are put to the best possible use.

In the days following the devastation, they spoke to individual donors, corporate contacts, and local partners on the ground who could deliver help. The team launched an appeal, working with 16 corporate and 10 charity partners to identify needs and priorities.

The plan was clear and needed to happen in three key stages - immediate relief, disaster assessment, and rehabilitation. Crucially, CAF India also put in place a team responsible for documentation, monitoring, managing grants and reporting back to those who had answered the call for help. They also worked to ensure that social media was used to keep awareness of the degree of destruction and suffering in the public eye in order to marshal as much support as possible.

During the torrential monsoon rains, roads and bridges suffered severe damage, isolating some of the worst affected areas. In those vital first few weeks, Air Vistara, a local airline, partnered up with CAF to fly in doctors, disaster management experts and skilled volunteers from Delhi and Chennai to an airport as close as possible to the disaster area.

Speaking about the appeal, a representative for Air Vistara said the company had been moved by the degree of loss and suffering and was grateful to CAF for pulling together key players in the relief effort: “This has been a great way to do what we can to help people and communities who are vulnerable and whose homes have been completely submerged by floodwaters. We hope to continue supporting those communities in any way we can.”

Distributing essentials to thousands of families

Thanks to Indian government data detailing the worst affected areas, in the three months following the floods, 2400 families in three districts - Wayanad, Idukki and Allepey – received life essentials thanks to this coordinated effort.

CAF India worked with seven generous businesses (Cargill India, Herbalife India, Philiips, Aon HR Services, DeShaw, Arcesium and JLL) for the distribution of Family Kits, which included blankets, mosquito nets, soap, detergent and sleeping mats. Local charities Arshbharat, VOSARD, GCCI, SAHAYI, ChildFund and AIFO then stepped in to further help in identifying where the need was most urgent and ensure it reached the right places.  

Water contamination and the accompanying risk of disease meant that safe water also needed to be provided in those crucial first three months. CAF partner Humanitarian Aid International (HAI) helped identify the safest places and 10 new water treatment units were installed in schools, churches and other community-owned spaces. In total, CAF India helped bring clean drinking water to more than 2000 families within 12 weeks of the floods.

10

Rebuilding communities and livelihoods

The torrential rains and landslides abated but factories and farms across the region were in ruins, destroying people’s livelihoods along the way. The textile industry was among the worst affected.  Telecom infrastructure firm Indus Tower stepped in to rebuild facilities at a weaving centre in Chendamangalam, known for its centuries-old handloom, while charity partner Andhyodaya worked with CAF India to replace tools, furniture and equipment for 200 weavers’ families. In addition to visiting the local weaving community to assess their needs, CAF continues to support the reconstruction of schools and other vital services.

As an antidote to the notion of large multi-national aid organisations taking charge of relief efforts, CAF India is member of Charter for Change which emphasizes local partnerships and routing more funds to local organisations. The team believe in this and work very closely with local implementation partners that are carefully selected through a rigorous due diligence process.

Meenakshi Batra, CEO at CAF India said: "With the help of our NGO partners we have been able to assess the extent of the damage on the ground and know exactly where the funds, relief, and support needed to be allocated. During disaster situations, our main focus is to work together and do our best to deliver all the help that we can to the people who need it the most.”

26 charity and corporate partners

The team launched a humanitarian appeal and worked with 16 corporate and 10 charity partners to identify needs and prioritise the target groups that needed to be supported.

Up to 2000 families have access to drinking water

CAF India helped to bring 10 new water treatment units to schools, churches and other community-owned spaces, bringing clean drinking water to more than 2000 families within 12 weeks of the floods.

200 weavers' livelihood supported

Thanks to its charity partner Andhyodaya, CAF India was also able to support more than 200 weavers’ families to in replacing some of the tools, furniture and equipment that were damaged by the floods.

CAF INDIA AND THE CAF GLOBAL ALLIANCE

CAF India is a partner of the CAF Global Alliance, a network of nine locally-led, independent organisations that work across six continents. Over the last 25 years, the Global Alliance and its international presence has led to breakthroughs and social change that has had a positive effect on the lives of millions of vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities.

As one of the most disaster prone areas of the world, one of the core areas of CAF India’s work is to support vulnerable communities by constructively engaging with donors, civil society and government authorities to respond to disasters.

CAF India is member of Charter for Change which emphasizes local partnerships and routing more funds to local organisations. The team believe in this and work very closely with local implementation partners that are carefully selected through a rigorous due diligence process.

CAF Global Alliance

By working with donors, the CAF Global Alliance has helped make a real difference to charities of all sizes around the world.

Discover the Global Alliance