Bangladesh: Cyclone Survivors Begin Receiving Shelter Materials
World Vision is now delivering shelter materials to assist more than 50,000 people with rebuilding their homes; supplying clean water to avert widespread waterborne illnesses also is a primary relief focus.
Updated November 30, 2007
Please note: If a sponsored child is directly affected by a crisis or disaster, it is World Vision's policy to notify that child's sponsor as soon as possible.
World Vision on Thursday began distributing shelter materials to assist families in our Chikalmari program area whose homes were torn to shreds by Cyclone Sidr in the hard-hit southern part of the country.
"Our initial plan was to ensure that families in our program areas who have been affected by the cyclone were given food, clothing, and shelter," said Vince Edwards, World Vision's national director in Bangladesh. "We have to date provided food and clothing to thousands of people ... [On Thursday], we [started] distributing temporary shelter to those who have lost their houses."
World Vision video (53 seconds) shows vignettes of the aftermath of massive destruction caused by Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.
World Vision's Aid Plan Expanded
Based on new assessment reports, World Vision's initial aid plans — to help rebuild homes for 50,000 people in seven hard-hit program areas where we work — have been expanded. World Vision in Bangladesh is seeking to raise $15 million to provide long-term assistance for families in our affected program areas as well as for residents of non-program areas.
"The scale of the devastation is enormous," Edwards says. "There is need wherever we look."
Please consider donating now to help Cyclone Sidr survivors.
Urgent Need For Clean Water
Since many wells also were destroyed by the cyclone, there is a critical need for clean water supplies to prevent the spread of cholera and other waterborne illnesses. In response, the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has provided World Vision with three water purification units that will be installed in the worst cyclone-affected areas of the country.
"This is fantastic," said Edwards, who received the gift on World Vision's behalf. "These water purification units can produce 10,000 liters per day and serve 1,500 families with clean water."
Along with the water treatment units, World Vision received 10,000 blankets and 2,400 jerry cans from OFDA, which were loaded onto seven trucks and transported to the disaster sites.
More than 800 World Vision staff members and volunteers worked day and night to initially deliver food aid — packets including 4.4 pounds of rice and 2.2 pounds each of sugar or molasses — to 2,800 families in dire need. Our teams continue to provide first-aid treatment to those injured by flying debris caused by the massive storm's hurricane-force winds.
Many of our local staff members live in the hard-hit Mongla and Kulna communities in southern Bangladesh.
World Vision staff additionally constructed and delivered seven-day emergency relief packs for 20,000 of the worst affected families in seven program areas located in the cyclone-battered southern part of the country.
Families who completely lost their homes, women-headed households, the poorest, and those who have children with disabilities, received the aid packages that included water, rice, potatoes, sugar, oil, salt, blankets, mattresses, clothing, oral re-hydration salts, and candles. The packets were distributed to:
1,600 families in Kalkini, in the Madaripur district;
3,500 in Mongla, and 1,500 Chitalmari, in the Bagerhat district;
6,000 in Kotalipara, and 500 in Muksudpur, in the Gopalganj district;
3,500 in Laudobe, in the Khulna district; and
3,400 families in Agailjhara, in the Barisal district.
Tin sheeting will be dispatched to these families — an estimated 50,000 people. Distributions began Thursday in the Chitalmari program area.
'Who Can We Go To?'
Tin sheeting will help young survivors like 11-year-old Rika Halder and her family, whose home in the Kandi village of Kotalipara, Bangladesh, was smashed by the cyclone's high winds in the early morning hours of Nov. 16. Rika, two younger sisters, and her mother were taking cover with her father, who was suffering from a fever at the time. "Deep in the night, when my mother was nursing my father, we were hearing terrible sounds of high winds," she says.
"Our house was taken away like a toy [when the cyclone struck]," she adds. "We found it — but without a roof and wall. My father and mother started screaming.
"Who can we go to? Most other people here are in the same situation."
An estimated 7 million people fled the monster storm's path that made landfall Nov. 15, washing over low-lying areas with 150-mph winds and a storm surge of up to 15 feet deep. Bangladesh's government says the cyclone killed at least 3,000 people; more than 1,650 are still missing.
>> Read about how World Vision responds to emergencies like Cyclone Sidr.
>> Read moreabout the disaster and World Vision's initial response.
Three Ways You Can Help
>> Pray for the millions of people affected by this killer storm. Pray also for the ability of World Vision staff to bring help quickly and effectively.
>> Donate now to help survivors of Cyclone Sidr.
>> Sponsor a child in Bangladesh.