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Cyclone Roanu hits Bangladesh communities

22 May 2016

On Saturday 21 May, Cyclone Roanu battered Bangladesh's southern coastline, forcing 500,000 people from their homes.

Torrential rains, floods and landslides killed 21 people, left over 200 injured and damaged nearly 85,000 homes, as water submerged houses, cut off roads, destroyed crops and uprooted trees.

Badly-hit communities urgently need shelter, clean water, food rations, sanitation supplies and other essential relief items.

A million people affected

Our Country Manager for Bangladesh, Shakeb Nabi, who is based in the capital, Dhaka, said: 'The cyclone has destroyed homes, jeopardised people's livelihoods and caused severe damage in many places. We stand in solidarity with those who are suffering from the effects of this crisis.

'The impact has been substantial, and official sources suggest a million people altogether have been affected. We are particularly concerned about the welfare of children, the elderly, people with disabilities and women, and for those living in hard-to-reach areas, such as the island communities.

'Access to food, safe drinking water, health supplies and sanitation materials is limited in some villages. Water points have been ruined, ground water contaminated, and agricultural land destroyed.'

He continued: 'Tens of thousands of poor families will have lost most of their assets: not just their houses, but also their food stores, seasonal crops and vital livestock such as cows, goats and ducks. Large numbers of fisherfolk have seen their nets and boats lost or damaged.

'Some families were already struggling to rebuild their lives after last year's floods. Now, without access to a means of making a living, their options will be limited. As monsoon season approaches, communities will urgently need support to rebuild their businesses, repair submerged homes and feed their families.'

How we're responding

We will release an initial €32,000/£25,000 of emergency funds to help our partners on the ground respond to people's immediate needs for food, water, shelter and sanitation.

We have also joined forces with other relief agencies in two badly-affected districts, Cox's Bazar and Chittagong, to assess the cyclone's impact and coordinate our humanitarian response,

Shakeb Nabi said: 'The cyclone highlights why it's so important to invest in helping poor communities reduce their vulnerability to extreme climate uncertainties, natural disasters and emergencies.'

Bangladesh and Christian Aid Week

Bangladesh is the focal country for this year's Christian Aid Week (15-21 May), which ends today. The low-lying nation is among the world's most disaster-prone countries, and one of the most vulnerable to climate change. It suffers from extreme temperatures, erratic rainfall, and an increasing number of floods, cyclones and droughts.

During Christian Aid Week, we have highlighted how these natural disasters are leaving poor communities in a precarious position, and without food or shelter.

We want to show our love to every neighbour, and make sure people in Bangladesh - and elsewhere - have a safe place to call home.

Donate to our Christian Aid Week appeal to lift our global neighbours, like those in Bangladesh, to safety.

 

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