Bangladesh

Bangladesh: In-depth recovery needs assessment of cyclone Aila affected areas

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1. Executive Summary : Just over 05 months have passed since Cyclone "Aila" hit Bangladesh( 25 May 2009) but sufferings still continuing in the severely affected districts of Khulna and Shatkhira where more than 201,982 displaced people (70% of severely affected people) are still living in temporary places and shlters. According to the government estimate 1149 million US dollars is needed to assist in the recovery and reconstruction after Cyclone Aila. In addition to the government's allocation, international humanitarian agencies have only contributed 20 million US dollars (as of 31 Oct'09). According to a recent (Oct'09) study done by the South Asia Association of Poverty Eradication, each affected household has seen their income decrease by approximately 44% as a result of Cyclone Aila. More than 60,000 people have migrated to search employment, as opportunities for income are very limited in the affected areas. Cyclone Aila fully or partially damaged more than 166 km coastal embankment and without repairing the broken embankments, livelihood recovery and people returning to their homes is not possible. While Government, local and international NGOs have been responding in the affected districts, access to safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation is still below Sphere minimum standards. This is due to (the lack of space on embankments and financial resources to cover the costs. In spite of targeted food distribution and cash for work programs initiated by Government and NGOs, there are still significant livelihood needs remaining. These needs will continue as not only have people lost their previously planted crops, they will also not be able to plant this winter's crop due to remaining flood waters and high salinity. There is also a need to explore diversification of livelihoods that are disaster resilient. Communities identified shelter as the top priority next to embankment repair, particularly in areas where no substantial allocation has been made yet. Considering the future disaster risk in the Cyclone Aila affected areas and possible climate change impact in this region, the disaster and response preparedness system needs to be reviewed both state and community levels to prevent the loss of life and properties after future disasters.