Period covered by this Operations Update: 25 April to 10 September 2008.
This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 24,483,160 (USD 22.2 million or EUR 15 million) in cash, kind, or services to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to assist 243,000 families (1,215,000 beneficiaries) over two years.
Appeal coverage: 76%
A preliminary appeal was launched for CHF 3,989,305 on 16 November 2007 to mobilize immediate relief assistance.
CHF 250,000 was allocated from the International Federation's disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.
This operation is to be implemented over a two-year period and is expected to be completed by November 2009. A final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation.
Over nine months have passed since Cyclone Sidr battered the coasts of south-western Bangladesh, affecting more than 8.9 million people and causing large scale economic and agricultural damages all over the country. Survivors are yet to recover completely from the devastation that has caused such immense effect on their lives. The Bangladesh government and other humanitarian organizations are working towards restoring some normalcy among the affected population with livelihood and shelter projects.
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), along with the International Federation, have completed the first phase of the relief distribution - comprising 14 types of relief items - to 73,320 families in 13 affected districts. In addition, based on field assessments, supplementary food support of 300 cartons of BP5 biscuits were distributed in the Bagerhat, Barguna (2B), Patuakhali and Pirojpur (2P) districts. As a means for a longterm recovery, coconut saplings to 75,000 families were distributed in the 2B2P districts to provide salinity resistance and wind protection.
During this reporting period, the main focus has been on an integrated recovery programme that addresses
economic means through the livelihood programme, housing through shelter programmes, water and sanitation through the water and sanitation programme, and basic health, (including a psychosocial support programme - PSP) addressing both physical and mental needs through the health programme for those affected. The recovery objective is "to assist targeted affected communities through a participatory, coordinated, integrated and sustainable approach to recovery". This aims to improve the capacity and living conditions of households and support the most vulnerable people to become more resilient to future disasters by the end of 2009. In order to put this into action, the BDRCS, with the support of the International Federation, will take the leading role in all recovery efforts at all stages of planning, implementation and monitoring. Below are details of the programme achievements showing how this has been initiated and implemented in a systematic approach to reach at the community level in the most efficient manner.
Since the launch of the appeal, international response has been positive. However, there is still a need for further contributions to enable the BDRCS/International Federation to deliver the planned assistance stated in this appeal. The BDRCS and International Federation would like to thank all of those who have contributed or pledged to this appeal.
Cyclone Sidr wrought havoc across many districts in southern Bangladesh, of which four districts were classified by the government as "worst" affected - Bagerhat, Barguna, Patuakhali and Pirojpur (2B2P) and eight districts as "moderately" affected - Khulna, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Barisal, Bhola, Shatkhira, Jholakathi, and Gopalganj. Total damage has been estimated to be USD 2.3 billion1 (CHF2,343,528,939).
At present, the country is going through a series of crises, including two waves of floods, massive destruction caused by Cyclone Sidr, and increased prices of essential commodities such as cooking oil and rice. In order to bring some stability to the country, the Bangladesh Army, as of 18 June, had run shops to sell rice at cheap prices for the poor.
Added to persisting natural calamites, the monsoon season officially began in the country on 15 June. In the first week of June, the metrological department hoisted signal number 3 (highest is 10) in all coastal regions. This has resulted in hampering Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers and staff from moving between districts by boat to reach to remote char (small island) areas that have been affected by Sidr.
In July, 20 people were reported dead due to rain-induced landslides and wall collapses in the Cox's Bazaar, Sirajganj and Comilla districts; only recently, a rain-induced mudslide in Chittagong killed 11 people. About 20,000 people living in houses built through cutting hills in Rangamati town are vulnerable to landslides due to continuous rain. About 50,000 people remain marooned in Netrokona, due to flash floods caused by heavy rain in the third week of July, with many villages in the Netrokona, Pabna, Rangpur, Faridpur, Khulna and Sirajganj districts being inundated with the rise of water level of Padma, Jomuna, Teesta and Ubdakhali in the last week of July.
In the last week of August, the rush of water from upstream and heavy rainfall over a period of a few days have flooded many upazillas, marooning over 5,000 people in low-lying areas and chars. Many roads are submerged, disrupting road communications. The transportation to and from Sidr-affected districts will be further hampered if roads are damaged due to heavy rain water and flooding. If the situation persists, there will be concern about another flood which may affect the activities of the Sidr operation.
ICRC and BDRCS are working together to follow up on tracing activities. At present, a total of 462 tracing requests have been collected from Bagerhat, Barguna, Patuakhali and Pirojpur. Moreover, families of the 462 people have been included in the beneficiary lists of BDRCS relief and recovery activities such as shelter, water and sanitation and livelihoods.