#HealthOfKerela: ‘This is the first time, I have come back to my home after the flood’

As floodwaters drained and rains let off across the state on Monday, lakhs of people confined to relief camps or who became homeless struggled to bring back some similarity of normalcy to their lives

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  • Kerala got some respite from rain on Monday but the state faces the huge task of rehabilitation.
  • 223 deaths have been reported and 10.28 lakh people are staying in 3274 relief camps, of which more than one lakh are kids below 12 years of age

People who returned to whatever remained of their house have a challenging task ahead of cleaning and restoring their homes. As the inside of many flood-affected homes have been filled with muck and mud.

One of the survivors of the Kerala floods is Ramesh Babu, a 45-year-old man who hails from Aramula in Kerala Pathanamthitta district. He had been rescued on 18 August.

He had left his house on the night of August 15, when the incessant rains began. As the rain went on endlessly, he had to reach high ground to save himself from being drowned by the rising waters. He chanced upon a bungalow and took refuge there for the next three days and nights. He sat on the rooftop of the bungalow, as everything around him was completely submerged. Thoughts about the condition of his house constantly drifted through his mind. He wondered if he would ever be able to return back to his house.

On the fateful morning of August 18, he was rescued by a team of officers and was sent to a relief camp. On Tuesday, August 21, he returned to his home to gauge the situation, after the flood. His house, which is nearly 150 years old, was in completely in shambles. He now faces a back-breaking task of rebuilding his house and life, with a clean slate.

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Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Ramesh Babu, said, “I don’t know what has happened to my house. I have come back for the first time in days. It’s all mud here. Water from the nearby River Pamba had entered my house and causes sever inundation. We left the house and spent several days in the camps. This is the darkest period of my life.”

“I have never seen devastation like this in years. The day when the rains started it was a nightmare. The water started rising and then we had to leave our house and all our belongings.”

The scale of devastation after Kerala’s worst floods in a century is emerging as families return to their homes after days in relief camps.

The state’s water authority and electricity board are trying to restore supply in areas that have been without power and tap water for days.

Entire villages have been lost to landslides, and soldiers are now clearing the debris and building temporary bridges to help restore transport links.