The heaviest rainfall in a quarter of a century saturated the hillsides in and around Chittagong last week. Residents had no chance to escape when a tide of mud and water swept down on their homes. Whole families were buried under mud and debris while they slept. The powerful current simply washed others away.
Despite ongoing heavy rain, Concern and Nishkriti distributed relief packages to families who were most severely affected. The supplies distributed included 60 tonnes of rice, eight tonnes of lentils, four tonnes of salt, 4,000 litres of cooking oil and 20,000 packs of oral re-hydration salts.
"Our small house has been knee deep in water since the rains started. I remained inside with my two children on top of my bamboo bed for two days waiting for the waters to recede," explained one single mother. "Now the house is dry I can take the rice straight home and prepare it - we don't have vegetables, fish or meat, but we are hungry and can eat it nonetheless with just a little salt."
Loss of income
Many of the residents of the Rahattarpool slum normally earn their income from informal work, such as waste paper gathering. Paper is gathered, sorted and sold in the local market. This activity earns around 80 taka (65 Euro cent) per day. During the heavy rains, this work has been impossible so families have gone without money and without food.
The Concern emergency ration is sufficient for a family for one week - it meets immediate needs, ensuring that children are protected, and that wage earners are healthy and ready to start work again. It's a small but crucial relief package for some of Bangladesh's poorest in a moment of need.