JAIPUR: The receding flood water of Baitarani river has given rise to the fear of epidemics in the district.
As many areas continue to remain inundated, people are facing an acute shortage of safe drinking water. The drinking water sources have been contaminated, thereby giving rise to fears of outbreak of a host of water-borne diseases.Over 25,000 people in 32 villages of Dasarathapur block have been surrounded by flood water and are facing a tough time due to shortage of safe drinking water. Sources said floodwater has entered most of the open wells and tube-wells, rendering them unsuitable for drinking.
Arakhita Jena, a flood-hit villager of Kaina in the block, said, “All water bodies in our area have been inundated by floodwater. People are forced to wade through chest-deep water to collect the contaminated drinking water,” he said.Besides, the suffering of womenfolk has increased manifold with toilets becoming unusable after being inundated by flood water. “People have no choice but to defecate in open,” Jena said and added that this has led to unhygienic living conditions in the flood-hit areas.
Social activist Prasant Kumar sahoo, who is working in flood-affected areas, said the risk of water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases has increased substantially. Reports of outbreak of diarrhoea have already started coming in from the flood-hit areas of Dasarathapur, he said.
A district health official said the administration has put in place preventive measures to check the outbreak of diseases. While water purification tablets and insect repellents have been supplied to the affected villagers, bleaching powder is being sprayed in flooded areas. Besides, a team of doctors and paramedics has been asked to visit flood-hit areas to ensure proper healthcare for people.
According to the district emergency office, a total of 83,474 persons in 62 villages under 37 panchayats of Dasarathapur, Binjharpur and Korei blocks have been hit due to the flood. While around 4,009 hectare of crop area has been submerged, the flood has partially damaged 55 houses, official sources said.
Meanwhile, heavy rains lashed many places in Dasarathapur block on Monday evening, compounding the fears of flood-hit villagers.