THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 200 people are staying in the rehabilitation centres facilitated for sea erosion victims at Valiyathura. But the fisher community continues to suffer as the authorities have failed to provide food and water at the centres.Four rehabilitation centres have been arranged, including an upper primary school, a fisheries school, a Buds rehabilitation centre, and a godown near the Valiyathura pier. The victims were not given food till Tuesday.
After 3 pm on Wednesday, food was distributed. Till then a few families cooked food at the centre, while some went back to their half-shattered houses to cook. “We were not given water or food till 3 pm. We have lost our utensils and equipment,” said Margaret Albert.
Poverty prevails in the community as fishermen cannot go for fishing in the rough sea. “Some families are starving as they are not able to buy or cook food owing to poverty,” said Joy David, who lost his house in Tuesday’s erosion. The centres are not safe for women and children. The parents of girl children are left with no option other than safeguarding children without going for work. “I’m the mother of three daughters aged 16, 13 and 11. I cannot go for work leaving my children alone as there is no safety at the centre,” said Jeena Joy. The rooms here are separated with sarees.
Besides, there are not enough toilet facilities. The available ones are in a pathetic condition. “We are forced to use the toilets in nearby houses. The centres do not have sanitary pad disposal facilities, making it difficult for women,” said Jaisal Jerry. “We had a confusion regarding the number of people staying in the camps, hence there was a delay in supplying food. But we rectified the issue by evening,” said District Collector in charge P T Abraham.