Extreme Flooding Prompts VFF to Help 11,250 Yanadi Families


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Driven by November’s annual monsoon, the heaviest rainfall in a decade wreaked havoc on the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andrah Pradesh. The great floods of 2015 killed more than 400 people and displaced 1.8 million others.
Among the hardest hit were the people of the Yanadi tribal community who live in extreme poverty in the Nellore region of Andrah Pradesh. Many lost everything as the heavy rains ruined their primary livelihood of subsistence agriculture. The Yanadi typically work as field laborers for upper caste families.
Their homes have been destroyed and they are “living in tents with little protection from rain and continuous risk of scorpions and snakes,” said Nawesgara Reddy, the Foundation’s emergency team coordinator in Nellore. “They are laborers working in the rice fields or in ponds, fields that have been completely flooded due to heavy rains. They have not had access to education or basic sanitation.”
While government programs are helping affected communities, the only support for the truly marginalized Yanadi is coming from the Foundation’s emergency staff. Our team provided health care, clothing, shelter, relief materials and school supplies. Throughout the flooding, VFF assisted 62 villages and 11,250 families (55,000 individuals), including 5,187 who needed and received from our medical team of just one doctor and two nurses.
The situation faced by the Yanadi tribe is so extreme that the Foundation is considering long-term intervention in the region to improve the conditions of this community and encourage its development.