Athira’s house sits next to the Vallimachira canal, which receives all the sewage of the town. The inevitable happened: sewage water entered homes all around, making them uninhabitable. “We were the first to leave our houses and come to the relief camp and we would be the last to get back. The stench in our houses is unbearable,” says Athira. When Kerala is rebuilding, they should account for sewage and waste management, she says. “The sewage should not flow into canals that empty out into the sea,” she says.