Environment
TNM looked into the relief and rebuilding efforts in Kuttanad five months after the Kerala floods.

Kuttanad is commonly known as the rice bowl of Kerala. Located in Alappuzha in the Southern region of the state, Kuttanad’s villages are nestled along the edge of the backwaters. Most villagers make their living out of fishing, farming and cattle rearing.

In August 2018, the floods in the state wrecked havoc in this region. Several hundreds had to be airlifted and rescued in fishing boats. Green fields were inundated with slush, and floating bodies of cows, goats and chickens were spotted everywhere.

Five months after this deluge, the region is stumbling back to normalcy as relief and rebuilding efforts are ongoing. Work has been conducted to desilt fields, repair bunds and motors and distribute free seeds for farmers. This is reflected in the acres and acres of green crop, also known as Puncha, that is now ready for harvest.

While progress in agricultural relief has moved at an impressive pace, relief in the animal husbandry department and in the rebuilding of houses has lagged behind.

To begin with, the entire Kuttanad taluka has yet to receive the money they were promised as relief for losing their farm animals. These people include cattle and goat rearers along with geese farmers whose livelihood is dependent on these animals.

Besides this, the relief guidelines for those who lost their farm animals is problematic and unhelpful.

Moving on to housing, many residents have yet to receive the money they were promised. Distribution of compensation in two categories of housing relief has not even begun and those who have received money say that it barely covers any of the house-related expenses, which have been incurred after the floods.

Watch the full documentary of the Kuttanad ground check here.