July 14, 2024, 8:12 pm

Cyclone Remal leaves 270,000 children homeless in BD

  • Update Time : Friday, May 31, 2024
  • 154 Time View
Photo: Collected

TDS Desk:

Cyclone Remal leaves 270,000 children homeless in BangladeshA mother along with her children, from the village of Panjupara, making their way a cyclone shelter, ahead of Cyclone Remal’s landfall in Bangladesh on 26 May 2024. [Photo: UNICEF]

More than 270,000 children in Bangladesh have lost their homes or are living in damaged houses after a severe cyclone ripped off roofs, swamped villages and cut power to millions of people, said Save the Children.

Cyclone Remal tore through south west Bangladesh on 26 May with winds of up to 75 miles (120 km) per hour and tidal surges of 8-12 feet (2-3.5 metres) above normal levels. About 3.75 million people have been affected by the storm [1], including an estimated 1.6 million children, with 16 people killed.

At least 150,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged across 19 districts, according to government assessments so far, impacting an estimated 639,000 people of which about 274,000 are children. Community health clinics in many areas are not operating due to the floods.

An estimated half a million people are still marooned by the flood waters and only accessible by boat. Villages have been turned into islands and cut off by the flood waters, with extensive damage to agricultural land and shrimp and fish farms, key sources of income for many families, destroyed. Wells and reservoirs have been severely damaged in areas that already had limited access to clean water due to rising levels of salt.

More than 17 million people are still without electricity after the storm brought down power lines and mobile phone towers and uprooted thousands of trees, blocking roads and hampering the relief effort.

Ahmed, 57, was at home when the cyclone hit and water came flooding into his house. He said: “My house is completely underwater and I have not gone back inside since. When I was in the house, the water was up to my neck and no one came to get me. Some people’s houses floated away, some of their houses collapsed. My goats floated away, all 3 of them.“

Save the Children has sent four emergency response teams including a medical team to Satkhira and Patuakhali districts where staff have distributed food packages and are providing emergency shelters and kitchen and hygiene kits. Due to preparation and planning, our five water treatment plants in Satkhira were able to keep operating during the storm using generators and are now providing a vital source of clean water for 20,000 people.

‘Children in these coastal areas of Bangladesh were already in need of support before the cyclone and now more than 270,000 have lost their homes or are living in ruined buildings.

Children and their families immediately need shelter, food and clean drinking water. In the long term, however, they will need so much more. Livelihoods have been destroyed and families, already some of the poorest in Bangladesh, have little means of making money to support their children.

The devastating impacts of Cyclone Remal has further reduced the ability of communities to cope with climate shocks and stresses. Slow onset crises are also affecting children’s lives. Saltwater intrusion is already impacting nearly 6 million people, or nearly 4% of the population, in Bangladesh but is forecast to increase to 13.6 million people in 2050 and 14.8 million in 2080.

World leaders need to act now to urgently reduce warming temperatures, tackle the impacts of climate change, and help countries such as Bangladesh prepare and respond to these disasters. They need to ensure that children’s futures – particularly those affected by poverty, inequality and discrimination who are disproportionately impacted – are protected.”

Source: Save the Children

 

 

 

 

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