Cyclone Tauktae, an extremely severe cyclonic storm, erupted as a tropical disturbance in the Arabian sea and travelled up the coast of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra - finally making landfall in Gujarat, displacing over 2,00,000 people.
Hard hit, the districts of Gir Somnath and Amreli which are part of ACF’s core districts, saw many livelihoods lost due to this natural calamity.
For farmers, this is their harvest period but due to the excessive wind and rainfall received crops were damaged. Apart from houses, cattle sheds were destroyed and animals were reported missing. As the harvest of mangoes was just about to begin, the winds destroyed the mango orchards leaving farmers to wait for another 2 years for new fruit. Most villages till date have also been living with no electricity due to damaged poles, wires, and transformers.
As soon as the State Government sent out a warning about the cyclone, ACF team immediately reached out to beneficiaries, helping them prepare for the cyclone. Some employees were on the ground helping farmers to cover their fields and place their cattle in safer locations. Teams also went house to house vacating people living in old and weak structures and placed them in village schools for shelter. Ambuja Cements Ltd also provided its staff buses to transport the community members to safer locations and offered accommodation in their own guest houses. Drinking water supplies were also provided in villages where the tap connection and pipelines were damaged.
ACF’s people’s institutions played an integral role post-cyclone to reach out and provide support to those affected. The Dhanwantari Farmers Producer Company immediately connected with farmers over calls to discuss its extended support in enhancing livelihood activities and restarting their work. The Sorath Women's Federation provided over 400 families in the Una area with food kits and also spoke to women about the support required in rebuilding their houses.
With a Skill Training Institute in Rajula (100% funded by Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd- APM Terminals), SEDI trainees started to help repair damaged electricals in the villages of Rajula - repairing solar lights, wires and electrical boards. This helped the villagers at least charge their phones and use their torches in darkness.
ACF is continuing to map areas severely affected by the cyclone and extend support with partners on the ground to revive the communities and help people get back to business.