Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
The backwaters of Alleppey are usually jammed by tourist boats during this time of the year. But Kuttanad and adjacent areas have been off the tourist trail on account of the devastating floods that hit Kerala.
I mostly saw villagers ferrying new furniture and carpets from the town to their homes. Locals, who were primarily engaged with tourism, are busy reviving their livelihoods.
While walking through Kainakary, a village in Alleppey, I saw roads covered in clothes, small electronics that would have been washed away in the floods. Residents of Kainakary were seen drying their mattresses, books and clothes.
Weeks after the horrific floods, residents in Kuttanad village are struggling to get their lives back on track.
“Even though the water has receded from the villages, the paddy farmlands are still submerged and would require extra pumping to remove the excess water.”Jerry, resident of Kuttanad
The sight at village panchayat also signalled that there are efforts needed to bring back normalcy. Locals even today come to procure relief packages. But they can only do so once they show official documents that state they have been badly affected by the floods. Despite the loss and uncertainty in their lives, there was a sense of calmness and composure on their faces while they stood in queue to receive the relief funds.
Amid the deficiency of food and other necessities, Kuttanad also suffers from acute shortage of clean drinking water. Beside providing food grains, government and other private NGOs are distributing ceramic water filters to the locals, so that they can have access to clean drinking water.
Dr Dilip, General Manager, Kerala Medical Services Corporation and his team are dealing with the logistics and distribution of the water filters in Kuttanad-Kainakary villages.
They allowed me to travel with them and record their work. The video was shot on 14 September. The team travelled on boat from village to village, handing over the filters which were donated by various organisations.
The team not just distributes filters but also trains people on how to use and maintain these filters.
“This region suffers from water shortage through most part of the year, and this water filter only provides a temporary solution to the crisis,” says Dr Dilip. He hopes that the local administration shall learn from this situation and take an opportunity to build a mechanism that can solve the drinking water crisis.
(Naman Shah is a student at Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. He is a native of Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) and did his graduation as Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) from University of Mumbai in 2018. He is passionate about visual storytelling and wish to incorporate his passion into a journalistic career by creating impactful stories.)