KOCHI: Mary George, 72-year-old, a native of Chennur, Kadamakkudy still recalls the harrowing days of last year’s deluge. While patiently waiting for the key of the newly-built house from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with her five-year-old grandson Anilas, she spreads a wide smile of resilience.
“I have lost everything in the flood. My home was completely inundated and everything I had was washed away. One of my grandchildren was physically ill at that time and I swam with her to the nearby safe area. It was a harrowing experience. I was helpless and spent 18 days at the relief camp in Mattanchery,” she said after receiving the first key of the 50 houses built by DP World at an event held at ICTT Vallarpadam last Sunday.
Echoing a similar story NP Ambunjakshi, a resident of Paravoor said that she was hesitant about receiving financial support from the government, but she was happy when the officials understood her plight and rehabilitated her to a full-fledged house. Aishumma, 70-year old, hailing from Panayikkulam was all smiles after receiving the house key from the Chief Minister.
“It was an unforgettable period of my life. As we were shifted in a jiffy, we couldn’t save our valuables. As I knew cooking, I helped with the work at the relief camp. The Government allocated land at Vaniyamkadu and built the new house there,” she said.
Whereas, Dubai Port World (DP World) officials were jubilant about finishing the construction at record speed.“We started the construction in February 2019 with the support of NGOs Ernakulam Social Service Society (ESSS) and Habitat for Humanity (HFH) and were able to hand over the keys within six months. The local self-government bodies helped us with legal procedures and the selection of beneficiaries,” an official said.
We followed safety measures while constructing the houses and kept the probability of a future flood in design,” said a DP World official.
DP World to extend further help
Dubai Port World will extend similar flood relief activities with the support of the state government in the coming months. “We have completed our promise and look forward to suitable opportunities to collaborate with the government,” said Praveen Thomas Joseph, chief executive officer, DP World, Kochi.