Habitat Orchestrates Multi-Partner Response To Bihar Disaster In India

HFH India’s Local Partner To Build 100 Houses, Community Center and Promote Livelihood Programs For 300 Families In Worst-Hit Village

MUMBAI, 3rd July 2009: Habitat for Humanity India expects to launch its first project in Bihar state, north-east India, to assist families struck by monsoon floods.

(Top) An overturned hut in Jorgama village as seen from the window of the car which the Habitat assessment team was riding in.(Below): The assessment team comprised Prabahara Doss, director of HFH India’s resource center in Delhi; Rajeev Chaudhari, an architect from Habitat’s local partner, Church of North India; Sanjana Das, program manager at Delhi resource center.

HFH India is partnering with local non-governmental organization Church of North India to build 100 houses, a community center and engage in livelihood programs for 300 families in one of the worst-affected villages.

The village of Jorgama was submerged when the Kosi River burst its banks in August last year. Most of the village’s families, who rely on agriculture or laboring work, live below the poverty line. The community lacks basic infrastructure and literacy rates are very low.

The floods displaced more than three million people in one of India’s poorest states. HFH India joined the state government’s shelter sector coordination committee to take an active role in planning and coordinating housing needs. Habitat sent an assessment team to determine the extent of damage and the needs of families.

The Jorgama project is due to begin after mid-July 2009 and end in the third quarter of 2010. To be carried out in phases, 100 houses will be constructed along with a community center. Implementing partner CNI will be starting self-help groups, promoting animal husbandry and block-making activities for 300 families.

Funding of 15 million rupees (about US300,000) is coming from Indian cement manufacturer Associate Cement Company and consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever.

CNI will oversee the construction process and work with HFH India’s Delhi Habitat Resource Center and the Indian government in the selection of beneficiaries. HFH India will manage the funds and overall project monitoring. Design drawings and costing plans are being finalized.