On May 20th 2020, Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal and caused significant damage in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Peace Winds Japan（PWJ）and its local partner Dhaka Community Hospital Trust (DCHT) started emergency relief operations in August in Galachipa Upazila of Patuakhali District and Sarankhola Upazila of Bagerhat District. Fishery and fish/shrimp farming are the most common occupation in this area and were severely affected as heavy rain and high waves caused by the Cyclone have washed away the fish farms and have contaminated the fresh water sources. People’s lives had already been affected by COVID-19 before the Cyclone Amphan, and the community is facing a double burden of the negative impact of both COVID-19 and the cyclone damage. Many people have lost their livelihood and opportunity of income earning by this.
PWJ distributed food packages and tarpaulin as emergency relief items to the vulnerable people affected by the cyclone. Many beneficiaries especially appreciated the tarpaulin since heavy rain had continued in this area even after the cyclone made landfall, and many houses had damaged roofs with rain water leaking inside the house. Fishing nets were distributed to those working for fishery and fish farms that have lost their livelihoods due to the cyclone.
COVID-19 cases are increasing in the cyclone affected areas as well as other parts of Bangladesh. Patients with water borne diseases, especially diarrhea, are increasing in the affected areas due to the contamination of water and deterioration of hygiene conditions caused by the cyclone. Soaps, cloth masks and ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) were distributed and awareness on handwashing and hygiene was provided along with the distribution of relief items.
In order to avoid congestion at distribution points as precautions of COVID-19, relief items and awareness were provided through household visits. Relief items and awareness were provided to the hard to reach households by using boats and walking through muddy roads.
Many of the tube-wells had been contaminated due to the cyclone and many people were facing difficulties in obtaining safe drinking water. Two deep tube-wells were constructed to enable safe water provision to the cyclone affected community. Safe drinking water is indispensable for the prevention for water borne and infectious diseases and especially for hand washing. The community appreciated the construction of the tube-well as they do not need to walk a long distance to fetch drinking water anymore.
The tube-well was handed over to the community, and the community committee will be in charge of the management and maintenance of the tube-well. A maintenance training was conducted to the community committee with the participation of community leaders and religious leaders.
All activities have been completed on November 30th. Thank you very much for your kind support. *This project is funded with subsidies from the Japan Platform and donations from individuals and corporations.