Jeevika Trust is issuing an urgent appeal for donations after Cyclone Phailin struck the coast of eastern India on Saturday 12 October causing large-scale devastation within island communities that Jeevika supports there.
The cyclone has disrupted the lives of thousands of Indian villagers living around the Chilika Lake sea lagoon on the coast of Odisha state – an area where Jeevika has over the past 3 years established a valued presence supporting village livelihoods on the two islands of Mahinsa and Berhampur. With 15 foot waves and 250 kmph winds the ‘shelter-belts’ of coconut and banana trees which have protected the villages have been largely uprooted, thatched houses flattened, boats smashed, fishing nets lost, goats and cows killed and kitchen gardens destroyed.
Our local partner organisation, Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP) has been working in the Chilika Lake area for many years. Traditional fishing livelihoods had been decimated by pollution flowing into the lake and this had already caused widespread unemployment. But JRP has managed to save many island families in the area from poverty by building the capacity of women to cultivate crabs, prawns and fish in island ponds which catch the monsoon water.
In a country which was recently ranked among the five worst in the world in which to be female,this project has enabled women islanders to achieve a degree of independence, helping them to contribute to household income. In the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin, this exciting progress in the Chilika Lake community is now severely threatened.
Many ponds are now seriously damaged and the crabs, prawns and fish swept back into the sea and homes destroyed have left villagers living with neighbours or squatting in cyclone shelters.
Please – give what funds you can to help us rescue the Chilika Lake community from slipping back into extreme poverty.
The good news is that our crab project offers a strong framework for the area to rebuild. But it needs your help.
Please donate here.