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WATSAN Unit becomes Operational

Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General paid a second visit to the devastated town of Leh on 16th – 17th of August to review the relief work being done by the Red Cross team consisting of staff and volunteers from Leh, Jammu & Kashmir State Branch, Srinagar and the National Headquarters. The Secretary General witnessed the rescue, search and transportation of dead and injured in which Red Cross teams are assisting local authorities.

Earlier the Secretary General had accompanied Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chairman of the Society and Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Government of India on 7th of August to assess the needs of the victims of the cloud burst in Leh on 5th - 6th August, 2010 which killed 190 people and left over 300 missing.
Red Cross teams have so far successfully handled 53 cases of family news services involving Indians as well as foreigners who were caught at Leh in the disaster. Cases attended to include 31 from Punjab, 11 from Bihar, 1 from USA and 3 from Army Regiments.

Out of the two water sanitation units that were air lifted one has been made operational in Choglamsar which is serving more than 1000 people. The water supply is also available to the rescue workers and all others without any discrimination.

The IRCS, NHQs has sent by air a consignment of 300 family tents costing over Rs.40.00 lakhs on 15th – 16th night to augment the needs of shelter. This was in addition to the 1000 pcs. of woolen blankets, 1000 units of kitchen sets & 123 pairs of gum boots sent earlier to help in rescue and relief operations.

The Secretary General held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner, Leh on 16th August at 04:00 PM in which Mr. John Roche, Head of India Office, IFRC, Mr. Kaustubh Kukde, Team Leader, IRCS and Mr. Ashfaq Ahmad, Dissemination Officer, IRCS, J&K Branch participated. DC appreciated Red Cross for setting up one watsan unit at Choglamsar which is providing potable water to the people. He requested IRCS to set up the second water purification unit in the makeshift Govt. Hospital in Leh. Dr. S.P. Agarwal has suggested that the PHE department at Leh should depute its staff to operate water purification unit. IRCS team would train local people to operate the units.

The list of affected people is under preparation and relief distribution would start soon. Govt. is coordinating all the relief agencies on ground to avoid duplication.

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