PUNE: The International Fund for Animal Welfare in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India has initiated relief operations in the state of Orissa, an area that has borne the brunt of the incessant rains of recent weeks.
The heavy monsoon rains that have battered South Asia for weeks have caused widespread flooding and left millions of people and animals displaced. "Thousands of animals have been left out in the open under the rain or scorching sun with no help at all. our main goal right now is to get food into the hardest-hit areas as quickly as possible," said Dick Green IFAW Manager for Disasters.
The floods in Orissa have already claimed at least 41 human lives. About 4897 villages have been submerged across 19 districts and 2.2 million people are still marooned in coastal areas. 1667 livestock including cattle, goats and poultry is dead. With continuing rain forecasted, the disaster will likely linger for several weeks.
"The flood relief team is reaching out to remote and cut off villages in the most affected areas. Most of the animals brought to the veterinarians are very weak, they have lost their body condition to starvation. High incidents of respiratory ailments and diarrhea are being reported," said N V K Ashraf, Chief Veterinarian, WTI.
Working with local partners APOWA (Action for Protection of Wild Animals) and AMRF (Arupa Mission Research Foundation) through a collaborative Emergency Relief Network (ERN), a relief project has been initiated that is distributing feed and providing veterinary assistance to thousands of impacted animals.
Five veterinarians and more than 20 volunteers are spread across the districts of Puri and Kendrapara attending to these animals besides visiting homes and advising people on hygiene. 9.5 metric tonnes of animal feed has been distributed. Health camps are being organised and shelters built in places where the situation in grave.
IFAW Feeds Starving Animals in Pakistan and India
YARMOUTH PORT, Mass., Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The heavy monsoon rains that have battered South Asia for weeks has caused widespread flooding and left millions of people and animals displaced. In response to the disaster, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org ) initiated relief operations in southern Pakistan and eastern India, two areas that have borne the brunt of the incessant rains of recent weeks.
"Thousands of animals have been left out in the open under the rain or in the scorching sun with no help at all," said Dr. Dick Green IFAW Manager for Disasters. "Our main goal right now is to get food into the hardest-hit areas as quickly as possible."
In Pakistan, the rains have caused widespread flooding primarily in the southern province of Sindh affecting over 5 million people. The Government of Pakistan announced that 64,000 animals had perished during the bad weather; however, media reports indicate that over half a million animals including cattle, water buffaloes, horses, donkeys, goats and sheep may have already died and countless more remain vulnerable to starvation and disease outbreaks. Millions of flood victims are entirely dependent on the upcoming harvest season and animals play a vital role by plowing the fields.
Pirabhu Lal, a 31 year-old peasant lost his home during the floods and took refuge with his family in a nearby farm. "I have three children and 21 animals left, I lost my five goats. We have no drinking water, no toilet, no firewood. My wife and children have malaria and I spend all day in search for food for the family and my animals. My wife walks three miles to collect some drinking water for the family and animals."
Like with the floods of 2010, IFAW has partnered again with local humanitarian group Ravi Foundation to conduct assessments and initiate relief operations in Pakistan.
Elsewhere, in India's eastern state of Orissa, the monsoon floods have already claimed at least 41 human lives and 2.2 million people are still marooned in coastal areas. IFAW is working with local partner Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to initiate a relief operation that is distributing feed and providing veterinary assistance to thousands of impacted animals.
"Our flood relief team is reaching out to remote and cut off villages in the most affected areas," said Dr. NVK Ashraf, Chief Veterinarian, WTI. "Most of the animals brought to the health camps are very weak and they have lost their body condition to starvation. High incidents of respiratory ailments and diarrhea are being reported."
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org . Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Images are available at www.ifawimages.com .