Photos and words by: Sajid Hasan, IFRC
In the first half of July 2019, heavy monsoon rains across Bangladesh, India and Nepal caused disastrous floods that affected the lives of millions of people. In Bangladesh alone, more than 28 districts faced extensive flooding. More than 7.6 million people lost their houses, farmlands, sources of income, access to clean water, and were exposed to the threat of water-borne diseases. Almost six months after the floods, many people, like Rozina Akter, are still in need of humanitarian assistance.
“My house is located very close to the river and we were farming jute when the floods hit. The water swept through our jute field and washed everything away,” says Rozina.
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has provided cash grants and other relief items such as hygiene kits, shelter toolkits and vegetable seeds to help families affected by the floods.
With this money, Rozina can invest in buying a cow. “This is my dream,” she adds. “We were already planning on selling the jute to buy a cow before the floods hit, so this money will really help us.”
Rustom Ali’s house was submerged underwater when the flood swept through his village. “During the worst of the flooding, there was four feet of water inside my house,” says Rustom. We had to move to the nearby highway and stayed there until the water subsided. I have five members in my family, and together with our cattle, lived on the highway for weeks. My whole stock of rice was damaged, and we could not even find enough food.”
With the cash grant, and other relief items from the Red Crescent, Rustom can begin his life anew. “I want to buy a goat with the money I have received. I can also grow some vegetables for my family with the seeds I have been given,” he adds.
Delera Begum lost two of her chickens and three goats due to the floods. “They fell sick a few days after and have all died. My house is still damaged, as the soil had moved from under the floor,” she says. With the cash grant she received from the Red Crescent, Delera plans on buying several goats or chickens to help her regenerate her lost income. “The money is a big help for us and will help us recover from our loss. Now I can think about buying goats again,” she adds with a smile on her face.
While distributing the cash grants and relief items, the Red Crescent volunteers also distributed this pocket card to the community. The card contains the Red Crescent, national and government emergency hotline numbers specifically set up to allow community members to report any sexual-based violence against women and children, allowing people to reach the Red Crescent and let their voices be heard.
Follow Bangladesh Red Crescent Society on twitter for the latest updates on their activities and emergency operations.