Urban Flood Relief Management in COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Urban Floods, COVID-19, Prayagraj, Flood Relief Camps, Disaster Management
Introduction: Urban floods were addressed as a separate disaster after the historical 2005 Mumbai floods. Urban flood peaks are 2-8 times and volume 6 times when compared with rural floods. We are now handling multiple disasters simultaneously due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The river plains of north India are prone to floods in the monsoon season and geographical location of Prayagraj doubles the damage because it faces wrath from two sides. Very few researches have been conducted on urban floods and evidence needs to be generated from the field. Methodology: This qualitative research was planned with an objective to identify the difficulties faced in operating an urban flood relief camp during superimposed burden of COVID-19 Pandemic and to suggest remedial measures from the public health aspect. We conducted in-depth interviews of nodal officers, health staff and beneficiaries of the identified camps. Informed consent was taken from participant after explaining them about the research. Results: The findings from the interviews were categorized into 3phases of flood relief i.e. before the floods, during floods and lastly post flood. The most crucial work before floods is to spread awareness about do’s and don’ts in detail. Next was identification of the local people actually affected by flood. The space and facilities at few centers was low for the population load. Urban flood management needs a major overhauling of public health infrastructure to handle such disasters in future. Conclusion: The officials were working hard to make the homeless feel as if they are on a picnic. The database of beneficiaries should be strengthened and should also include students and labourers, anyone who is a flood victim and not only local flood victims.
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