On 12th December 2022, a devastating fire broke out suddenly at the village called Upper Sonowal of Majuli district in Assam, leaving a trail of destructions among the affected people. The crisis had pushed the affected into an extreme grim situation as they lost everything in the fire. The tragedy had affected vulnerable communities who are also the victims of recurrent floods and river erosions of the island.
Following a Rapid Need Assessment (RNA) at the affected community, NEADS had activated its fire tragedy response among the affected communities of the crisis-ravaged areas. With funding from Start Fund, NEADS had undertaken the humanitarian assistance among the affected peoples, where the local organization was reaching out with essentials dry rations and nutrition support for the victims for 75 days, dignity and hygiene support for women including the adolescent girls, Non-food items and shelter material targeting the worst-hit families of the village.
With this intervention, NEADS directly reached out to the affected families in the Upper Sonowal village of the district. Along with the emergency relief aid, NEADS has been making intense effort to promote community level awareness and sensitization on Public Health Preparedness (PHP) to build capacities and resilience of communities at risks to reduce the impact, also cope with and to recover from the effects of adversity.
NEADS had undertaken a range of supports which included community-based disaster risk management and crisis preparedness, educational materials and input support to school-going children, early recovery program at the family level for livelihood, restoration of shelter and NFI materials, essential dry rations and dignity & WASH kit to the families, and Cash for Work (CFW) activities among the affected families.
Tirtha Prasad Saikia, Director of NEADS, stated, "Our humanitarian response approach is always guided by people-led action and core humanitarian principles such as inclusivity, gender, protection, and community engagement. This is a moment for local organization like us to come together to save lives and share solidarity in times of crises. Henceforth, providing rapid financing to underfunded crises, spikes in chronic humanitarian crises & support in anticipation to fill the critical gap in humanitarian financing is very much significant to promote locally led action."
The NEADS intervention has brought much-needed relief to the vulnerable communities affected by the fire outbreak in Majuli. The organization's efforts to provide emergency relief aid and promote community awareness have been essential in reducing the impact of the crisis and building resilience among the affected communities. The local organization's rapid response to the tragedy has demonstrated the importance of community-led action in times of crises.