The Himalayan town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand has been hit by a geological phenomenon known as land subsidence or the sinking of land. As a result, the deep fissures in the ceilings, floors and walls that developed have already ruined nearly 870 houses and other buildings in the town, making them uninhabitable, thereby displacing hundreds of families. Cracks have also appeared on agricultural fields and roads, and those are just widening.
In the wake of this emergency in January 2023, the Government of Uttarakhand started shifting affected families to temporary relief centres. ActionAid Association and community-based human rights defenders carried out a rapid needs assessment. They met with the affected households, most of whom are engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry, construction workers, drivers and street vendors. With disadvantaged communities struggling to make ends meet after the crisis, our teams identified the most vulnerable families needing a helping hand. With support from Motorola Solutions Foundation, we have reached out to 632 families with dry rations and 275 families with fodder for their livestock in three affected wards of Joshimath, namely Dodil, Gandhinagar and Singhdar.
Our teams are also organising village-level community meetings and interacting with families living in relief camps. In addition, we are building awareness among community members on the compensation announced by the State Government in the aftermath of this crisis. We enable them to fill out and submit their applications and other required documents to access the compensation. Besides, we are meeting with the concerned officials in Joshimath to facilitate compensation for families who, for some reason, do not possess the necessary documents but need support.
Read the insightful article recently written by Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association, on the Joshimath situation here