In August 2017, heavy monsoon rains caused wide-spread flooding in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Almost two-thirds of Bangladesh was flooded, affecting more than 6.9 million people.

Thousands of homes and hectares of cropland were damaged, leaving many people like Mosammat Manika and her family, without a home or a source of income.

At the time of the floods Manika’s husband was forced to live hundreds of kilometres away in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, earning a living as a rikshaw puller. Manika and her young son were home alone when floodwaters destroyed their house.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society gave Manika 75,000 Bangladesh Taka (Approximately 873 US dollars) to help her and her family get back on their feet. With the money, Manika was able to repair her damaged house, fix her latrine, and buy her husband Afzal an auto-rickshaw. The new rickshaw allowed Afzal to move back home and earn living as a driver in their village in Lalmonirhat.

“He used to pull paddled rickshaw in Dhaka. It was very difficult for him as he had to use his legs to pull the rickshaw. Now that we can afford an auto rickshaw, he can stay with us here and earn for the family”, says Manika.

This small structure made of metal scrap sheets and bamboo was all Abdul Kaiyum could manage to build for himself after the floods destroyed his home in 2017. It gave him little protection from the weather and would be easily damaged by any future potential hazards.

With the support of Bangladesh Red Crescent, Abdul Kaiyum was able to build a much stronger and sturdier house for himself. Now, he has a house that is big enough for him and makes him feel safe. With the cash grant he received from BDRCS, Abdul was able to start his own business, selling eggs at the local market.

Rozina and her son Robiul, with the two new calves they bought with the cash grant given to them by Bangladesh Red Crescent. Their house and latrine have also been repaired. Rozina has three children, two of them are currently at school. All she wants is security and a better future for her and her children.

This road is crucial for the people living in ward no. 5 in Mohishkhocha, Lalmonirhat. It connects them to the main road. Previously, the road was much lower, uneven, muddy, and very difficult for any vehicle to pass through. Bangladesh Red Crescent, together with 100 people from the local community, repaired a one kilometre stretch of the road. The road repair has directly benefitted more than 2,500 people. The work also provided the community people scope for earning.

While families were recovering from one flood, Bangladesh Red Crescent were busy making sure that people were also well prepared for the next. To disseminate lifesaving information on how to be better prepared before and during a flood, BDRCS organized a traditional musical street drama, locally referred to as “Pot Gan”, throughout the villages in in Lalmonirhat. The drama highlighted important messages on safe houses, hygiene and sanitation.

It took many families more than a year to recover from the devastation caused by the mass floods of 2017. By April 2019, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) had completed the recovery operation for the affected communities in Lalmonirhat, one of the districts in the northern part of Bangladesh that was severely affected by the floods. The recovery operation helped more than 10,000 people restart their lives with hope and dignity.