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Still feeling the toll of Cyclone Aila

Islamic Relief

Mohammad Alomgir, of Islamic Relief Bangladesh, was amongst the first to respond in the aftermath of Cyclone Aila, which devastated communities in Bangladesh five years ago. He blogs on how people are still suffering half a decade later, and what the international community should be doing to prepare vulnerable countries for future disasters.

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When Climate Becomes a Health Issue: How Vulnerable is Bangladesh?

World Bank


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Weathering the Storm: Rice Lifts Bangladesh Village from Saltwater Deluge

By Mahin Rashid and Troy Beckman

After losing everything in Cyclone Aila, farmers use flood- and salt-tolerant seeds to resurrect rice paddies.

Mohammad Mofizul Islam Gazi is a farmer and father of two living on the front lines of climate change in southern Bangladesh—one of the most vulnerable areas in all of Asia to cyclones and sea level rise.

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Restoring the environment in remote Bangladesh

Islamic Relief

Less than five years since a powerful tropical cyclone devastated swathes of India and Bangladesh, Islamic Relief reports on how one Bangladeshi community is looking forward to a greener and more disaster-resilient future.

In 2009,Cyclone Aila destroyed homes and livelihoods in Dakkhin Bedkasi village. It also devastated the environment, which is central to communities in Bangladesh’s remote south-west. Trees were torn up, leaving the landscape completely denuded. People were forced out of their homesteads along the river embankment, and away from their traditional way of life.

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Bangladesh Ailing After Aila

By Robert Stefanicki

KHULNA, Bangladesh, Oct 25 2013 (IPS) - It has been four years since Cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh, triggering floods and widespread destruction. But the villagers of Koira subdistrict, among the worst affected of the 11 districts hit by the cyclone, are yet to recover from its impact.

The Jaman family was among the 41,043 families in Koira affected by Aila. Like most of their neighbours, they remained homeless for eight months, surviving on supplies from humanitarian organisations.

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India + 2 others
ECHO Factsheet – India, July 2013

Key messages:

  • Assisting the victims of natural disasters, India being highly vulnerable to cyclones, floods, earthquakes and droughts remains a priority. .

  • Alleviating the emergency needs arising from three protracted crises:
    Jammu & Kashmir, the North-Eastern States, and Naxal-affected areas in central India, with a special emphasis on protection, health and nutrition remains a must.

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Bangladesh (MAABD001) Annual Report 2012


A notable achievement by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS)/ the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was the very first photography exhibition on Red Cross Red Crescent works titled Mindscape held in Dhaka on 8 May 2012 in celebration of World Red Cross Red Crescent day. This event showcased disaster management and rehabilitation works that have been carried out over the years since 1971 war in Bangladesh.

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Nepal + 2 others
Relief to resilience: ready to weather the storm

With the global population exceeding 7 billion, the earth’s resources are under increasing strain, resulting in more crises and people needing help than ever before. In response, the Red Cross has evolved its approach to providing aid.

As the numbers rise – more conflict over limited resources, more weather-related disasters, more poverty and food crises – the Red Cross is bridging relief aid and development for a more sustainable future.

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Three years after Cyclone Aila many Bangladeshis are still struggling with food and water shortages


A massive cyclone which hit Bangladesh in May 2009 is still having a devastating effect on the lives of many people in the country three years after the event, international humanitarian agency Oxfam said today.

To coincide with the three year mark, Oxfam is appealing for the Government of Bangladesh and the international community to provide additional funding to support an estimated 50,000 people still affected in the Southwest of the country.

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MAABD001 - Annual Report 2011

This report covers the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011

In brief

Programme outcome

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UNISDR Chief visits Bangladesh cyclone belt

By Brigitte Leoni

BANGKOK, 2 April 2012 - A visit to a disaster-resilient habitat in Bangladesh has prompted UNISDR Chief Margareta Wahlström to acknowledge the south Asian country as leading developing nations in the global fight against climate change impacts.

On the final day of a three day visit, she went Friday to the village of Bainpara, Dacope, in Khulna Division on Bangladesh's south-west coast where she saw what she called "a small but excellent example of a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programme with clear development benefits."

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Bangladesh villagers still struggling after Cyclone Aila's devastation


The story of livelihoods destroyed by cyclone and floods in 2009 represents in microcosm the threat from climate change to low-lying Bangladesh

Read the full article in the Guardian.

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MCC helps provide clean water amidst sea water

Jan. 26, 2012

PATHORKHALI, Bangladesh – Shahanara Begum beams as she works the pump lifting water from the village pond into a new sand filter that creates clean drinking water for many people in her village and nearby areas.

Shahanara Begum is proud to be one of seven women who maintains the filter, but she is especially happy to have clean drinking water within a hundred yards of her house. Before the filter was placed in June 2011, all the women of Pathorkhali village had to walk several miles and pay for pump water or make do with murky pond water.

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The ill wind that blew Bainpara towards a more climate resilient future


Syed Zain Al-Mahmood in Dhaka

Three years after it was decimated by cyclone Aila, Bainpara in south-west Bangladesh is being rebuilt with UK assistance

On 25 May 2009, the village of Bainpara, in the district of Khulna on Bangladesh's south-west coast, was wiped off the map. Driven by the 120km/h winds of cyclone Aila, a 12ft wall of sea water tore through the area, destroying rice crops, trees, homes and entire villages.

Read the full story on the Guardian

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Resilient homes to help coastal Bangladeshis withstand cyclones


By Syful Islam

SHYMNAGAR, Bangladesh (AlertNet) – Rizia Akhter doesn’t look forward to what the coming storm season may bring, but for the first time in years she feels secure.

Akhter, 45 and a single mother of five children, lost her home in Ardasha Gram village when cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh’s southwest coastal region on May 25, 2009. The storm killed at least 300 people and destroyed 4,000 kilometres of roads and embankments. More than 87,000 people in the region lost their houses, possessions and livelihoods.


For more humanitarian news and analysis, please visit

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Woman's life changed by a simple embankment

Fresh water used to be a rare find in the coastal Khulna region of Bangladesh where floods frequently brought salt water inland, killing crops and contaminating wells. Women like Kirtonia had to walk for hours in search of clean drinking water. But thanks to a new embankment, Kirtonia's life has changed.

BOIRAGIKHALI — For many people, accessing fresh water is a matter of opening a faucet. But for 30-year-old Taposhi Kirtonia, it took a four-hour walk from her home in rural southern Bangladesh to the nearest fresh water stream.

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The lessons of Sidr: easily learned and easily shared

Four years ago today, Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh. It claimed over 3,300 lives and injured more than 34,500 people. The government released warnings the day before, and the Bangladesh Red Crescent worked to evacuate people before the cyclone hit. Around 5,000 community volunteers trained by the organisation worked through the night to alert people using megaphones and hand sirens.

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Bangladesh + 5 others
Comment: SAARC summit should make a bridge to face climate change

Minivan News

By Swadesh Roy

“I had five houses but only one is left, all are destroyed by cyclone Ayla. We were not poor, we had everything but now we are street beggar. It happened within a few seconds. Water flows up to the eight feet over the embankment. Now it looks like sea. In every tide saline water flows over the land so we have no way to grow here anything. How shall we get food, shelter and education now? Some people are going to Dhaka and other city but we cannot dare to do this, ultimately we have no choice. We have to leave this place.”

Minivan News: