Solidarity with Kerala flood victims

21 August 2018 05:55

The Southern Indian state of Kerala has been slammed by heavy rains and extreme flooding, the worst recorded natural disaster that the state has endured to date.

All 44 rivers across the state overflowed and 33 dam shutters were opened to release excess water. In some areas, waters rose by as much as 15 feet. By Sunday 19 August, when rains had finally begun to subside, the confirmed death toll had reached 370 and around 800,000 have been displaced.

“To the working people of Kerala, we extend our deep sorrow that you have had to endure this crisis”, said BWI Regional Representative Apolinar Tolentino. “Our immediate concern is to ensure that people are safe and have access to necessities, including food, water, shelter, and medicines.”

The BWI has extended emergency financial solidarity support to our affiliate in Kerala, the Kerala Building Construction Workers’ Congress (KKNTC), and will continue to work with the affiliate to consider other ways of assisting, particularly once damage has been assessed and reconstruction works begin.

“Every year we are seeing once-in-a-lifetime storms, and it is always working people who bear the brunt of this”,  said Tolentino. “Responding to these crisis are at the core of what we mean when we talk about a just transition. Climate change is a key concern for workers in BWI sectors, and must be considered in all aspects of our trade union work.”