Somwarpet Taluk of Kodagu district in Karnataka has been badly hit by landslides. Homes vanished under mud, and searches are still on for the missing. A shelter near Madapura village is the temporary, muddy, home now for hundreds of people from neighbouring villages and workers on coffee plantations.
Damaged roads, landslides, the incessant rain – and the mud: there are many challenges when it comes to getting relief, like drinking water, to displaced persons in need here in Madapura – one of the worse hit areas of Kodagu.
At the Madapura School, which is now a shelter for over 350 people, we saw a water tanker struggle to get close to the shelter building as residents and volunteers tried to push it through the mud.
Portable toilets arrived at this relief camp in a Madapura School while we were there. Not a moment too soon.
Madhu Bopanna, a volunteer who is helping to run the camp, said, “Toilets just came after five days…350 people have been using the school toilet. Cleaning and unblocking it was a nightmare…”
From the camp, we could see a brown gash in the green hills – a landslide that buried 15 homes – a terrible blow to those living there.
One woman began crying as she spoke to NDTV. “There were about 15 houses there. All destroyed. We are suffering so much. Nobody should suffer like this,” she said.
At the shelter, the rain refugees receive food, medical treatment and clothing.
But what can compensate for the loss of the home and the life that you have known? We met Cariappa on a road near the shelter. He broke down as he told us,”My home was destroyed. I am going back there now. I was scared to go alone so this man is coming with me for company. I have left two dogs, cattle, a cat at home. I have no children. I do not know what my future will be.”