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Monsoon 2018 Disaster Relief

Event Start Date:
1st September 2018
Event End Date:
1st September 2018
Event Venue:
Wayanad, Kerala

Hello Everyone,

We at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary are in the least affected area of the disaster as we are on higher ground, upriver of a dam, and on land that is forested. However, it’s been very wild and extreme, unprecedented rains and floods. I’ve never seen storms like this, and such long lasting intense winds and rains. Many trees have fallen in the forest. Wildlife is hammered, a neighbour saw a monkey falling into the river. Birds have been missing for days.

Five GBS staff members and their families have been moved to shelters (local school and church),  along with 17 families in our immediate neighbourhood.

All farms have been battered. Some houses have collapsed. Mudslides in many places.

The good news is that the storm is weakening today. But the bad news is that recovery is next to impossible, and moreover, recovery without the land being reforested is just disaster waiting to happen again.

Jaimon Joseph and the local Green Phoenix team are mobilizing support for people left out by relief missions.

The Green Phoenix is an outreach initiative of GBS. Green Phoenix Kallampuzha (named after our river) is a collaboration with some neighbours towards environmental nurturance, forest farming, forest and wildlife protection, community based economic transformations and  climate resilience.

These neighbours (people from Paniya and Kurchiya tribes and small farmers) had made the transition from banana cultivation to this collaborative work (sponsored by three NGOs, and several individuals) and have been interested to mobilize people along 16 km of our river to shift to a more resilient land practice. The irony and the tragedy is that only these six Green Phoenix individuals as well as the people who work for the Sanctuary  will escape total economic collapse as a result of this freak monsoon.

Every family in our neighbourhood that is dependant on the land, or on coolie work, or tenant farming, is affected grievously by this monsoon. Coffee and pepper berries have dropped, so there is no income to be expected this winter from these two crops. Rubber and tea will not yield with these heavy rains. And banana and ginger are smashed beyond recognition. No land based work is available right now. Farmers and labourers are all affected.

Only mixed home gardens can survive this, as can the forest based peoples. This is thus a moment to intensify the work all along this upper stretch of the Kabini, to bring back food-forests, and biodiversity. Two years ago drought destroyed the agricultural economy here, and now it’s the monsoon savagery. We need to make the transition together towards a forest landscape, which is resilient through droughts and floods, is great for wild plants and animals, and will support humans with a superb diversity of foods, locally grown.

If you want to support the Monsoon 2018 disaster relief, it’s best to support the state and central relief funds. But if anyone wants to support our local upstream emergency work, you can donate to the accounts below. We intend to work from upriver steadily to areas further downstream. We are beginning with 40 families along the Kallampuzha. We distributed 200 kgs of rice and some channa along with tea and sugar to about 20 families yesterday. These are people who have not been shifted to camps, and are low income families dependant on the land, who also have no coolie work available right now, and will be low priority on the government schemes. We will ensure that we do not duplicate the governments work, but only fill urgent gaps, and focus on slow long term work. We will also liaise with other groups working on disaster relief further downstream.

Please write Monsoon 2018 Disaster Relief against your donation. We will put up an online statement of how this money is used along with a list of donor names.

We need to act immediately, but we need to sustain the action. If you do not specify the above against your donation, the amount will go towards the Sanctuary’s own recovery from this storm, and the long term work of the Green Phoenix.

Funds will go towards:
1) Immediate support, items such as rice, lentils, tea and sugar. Kerala style clothing for men and women.
2) Long term support: organizing a land based rehabilitation and recovery strategy for forest farming and community based ecological transformation towards climate resilience.

Donations from within India

A/c Name: Munnarakkunnu Trust
Bank: Axis Bank; Branch: Banashankari
Account number: 1020101 00263856
IFSC: UTIB0000102
Address: 30th Main Road, Bangalore 560085
Donations from Foreign Nationals and Other Countries
A/c Name: Munnarakkunnu Trust
Bank: Axis Bank
Branch: Banashankari
Account No.: 911010033698487
Swift code: AXISINBB102
Address: 30th Main Road, Bangalore 560085

Please send an email to me once you make your donation with your full name and address details.

Munnarakkunnu Trust is the charitable trust backing the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary. Trustees are Suprabha Seshan, Anna Theuerkauf, Kaustubh Rau and N. Venu.

For further information or clarification please write to this email, or call me on 9448059414.

Thank you for your support,  let us support the recovery of a healthy land base, this is good for all. Climate change issues will get worse. The land needs to protected, and people need support to regenerate a forested landscape that will look after them too.


Suprabha Seshan
 <[email protected]>






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