In the flooding’s aftermath, the damage to people’s homes as well as the risk of coronavirus spreading meant that Morjina was out of work, increasing her family’s vulnerability further still. To survive, Morjina sold some of the family’s last remaining goats for cash and they scaled back to just one meal a day, and sometimes none at all, as their financial hardship increased.
“I had no income and no food at home. My elderly mother and my beloved children went to bed without a meal”, Morjina recalls. “I cried many nights; nobody came to help us. My 14-yeard old son used to catch fish and sell it in the local market, but that was not enough to feed four family members,” she added.
With funding from Irish Aid, Christian Aid through local partner Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) was able to respond in the two worst impacted areas in Jamalpur district, Dewangonj and Melandi.
Suruz and Morjina’s families were amongst the 2,400 most vulnerable impacted families provided with the equivalent of €32 in cash to be able to buy food, medicine and to help with the costs of repairing their damaged homes as well as kits containing soap, reusable face masks and hand sanitiser to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus. Sanitary towels were also included to ensure women and girls had added support.
With the cash she received, Morjina was able to buy food, school books to help her daughter to continue with her education and a mobile phone to be able to listen in to weather bulletins and flood warnings broadcast on local radio to help keep her family safe and reach relatives when in need of help.
“Me and my family eat with a full stomach after a long time. I am so thankful to everyone who helped us”, says Morjina.
For Suruz, the support he received was a much-welcomed relief at a time of ever-growing hardship. “After receiving the cash, I paid back my debt to the local grocery store and an instalment of my debt to a moneylender. With the rest of the money, I bought rice, oil, pulses, vegetables, potatoes, salt and small fish to feed my family”, he said.
“Me and my family feel safe from coronavirus using the face masks and hand sanitizer we received when leaving our home”, he added.
“The support came in time and I am very grateful to DAM, Christian Aid and Irish Aid for supporting me and many others who have been badly affected by the monsoon flooding and coronavirus in my village”, Suruz concluded.