More than a week of sustained rain in the Chennai province of India resulted in flooding in several districts. The floods killed more than 300 people and affected more than 2 million.
The most significant impact was on shelter—both household and community infrastructure. In rural areas, mud houses (the most common type of houses in the area) either totally collapsed or were severely damaged, rendering them unlivable. This resulted in the extensive loss of essential items such as beds, kitchen utensils, and furnishings.
Other infrastructure such as schools and medical facilities were also badly damaged, further impacting the communities’ capacity to cope with the disaster.
Damaged infrastructure also posed a risk of disease outbreaks.
Oxfam Canada intervened, with the goal of providing emergency shelter materials and improving access to food, health related needs and income generating opportunities. They provided tarpaulins, groundsheets, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, etc. to 1,100 families and assisted the 300 most vulnerable households with unconditional cash transfers of approximately CAD $210 per family.