Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Floods Appeal No. MDRBD002 Operations Update No. 11

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Period covered by this Operations Update: 17 January to March 17 2008

Appeal target: CHF 7.1 million (USD 5.9 million or EUR 4.3 million)

Appeal coverage: 66%; Outstanding needs: CHF 2.4 million (USD 2.13 million or EUR 1.45 million).

Appeal history:

- An Emergency Appeal launched on 3 July 2007 for CHF 842,257 (USD 684,762 or EUR 510,459) for six months to assist 133,255 beneficiaries.

- Emergency Appeal revised on 16

August 2007 to focus on the floods. The A raised tube well in Manikganj district budget was increased to CHF 7,113,119

(USD 5,907,905 or EUR 4,310,980) for eight months to assist 1,200,000 beneficiaries due to the deteriorating situation.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated on 20 June 2007: CHF 250,000

Summary:

Despite all setbacks, including diversion of 22,400 families' food and non-food relief commodities to the Cyclone SIDR operation, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) continued to carry out its activities under the floods operation.

So far, 22,400 flood-affected families in 26 districts received their remaining food and non-food relief commodities, which had earlier been diverted to the Cyclone SIDR affected population, under a common agreement, at all level. In addition, 65,200 most affected people in 58 districts received warm blankets during the winter season. Under the livelihood scheme, 56,000 affected people directly benefited through seed and sapling distribution to marginal and small-scale farmers. Through the community participatory process, with a risk reduction/mitigation approach, approximately 17,000 vulnerable people in three targeted districts have access to safe drinking water and facilities for safe hygiene practices. A total of 55 existing water systems with raised platform were restored and another 110 water systems with raised platform were newly installed. In addition, 500 individual and 12 community latrines were constructed and handed over. Under recovery initiatives, 165 most vulnerable flood affected communities now have the ability to repair their own water systems. This has been possible through the water system repair tools and cleaning kits, which 1,065 most vulnerable families received to maintain their regular safe hygiene practices.

The operation benefited through the integration of all observations and recommendations by the monitoring and evaluation teams. Based on this, a two sessions relief workshop plan is underway with the participation of all affected BDRCS district branches, to carryout a lessons learned exercise and at the same time prepare for future effective responses. An understanding has been reached between the national society and the Bangladesh delegation to extend the floods operation for a period of an additional six months (4th March to 3rd September 2008) as there is some unspent money (approximately CHF 2.1 million). This is due to the increased response received from the donors during the months of December 2007 - February 2008, some set backs caused by the Cyclone SIDR operation and logistic procedure difficulties due to the implementation of two big operations.

The situation

Torrential rains leading to two consecutive phases of floods during the months of June-October 2007 devastated the lives of millions of people across Bangladesh. The situation took a turn for the worse with major rivers (Meghna, Brahmaputra, Padma and Jomuna) overflowing, causing inundation in the north, northeast and central parts of the country. This resulted in massive loss of lives, livelihoods, property and crop damages. Flood waters have caused colossal damage, destroying approximately two million hectares of crops and vegetables. It has affected and displaced millions of people across the country.

Activities implemented so far have assisted in improving the lives of the targeted beneficiaries. The supplementary food rations have helped affected people to gradually return to their normal activities, with the relief commodities filling up the food insecurity gap. The seeds and saplings distributed will help to re-cultivate destroyed crops, thereby assisting the vulnerable population in reclaiming their livelihoods. Improved water and sanitation facilities, as well as exposure to information, education and communication materials on health and care, will benefit the local people by helping to minimize exposure to health risks through knowledge.

The post implementation evaluation has been implemented from 21 February and will continue until 2 March 2008, by a team comprising an external evaluator, BDRCS and Federation officials. They visited the project sites in Manikganj and Shariatpur. They consulted and exchanged views with BDRCS and Federation concerned officials, government authorities and beneficiaries to assess the effectiveness of the project. They have also identified the areas for improvement for future interventions. Moreover, they have shared knowledge and lessons learnt in the disaster relief operation. The outcome of the evaluation are expected to be received very soon.

The six months extension of the operation, due to unspent money and the implementing of two big operations, will cover activities related to the pre-positioning of some of the most commonly used non-food items, like saris and lungies (clothing items for women and men), blankets and family kits. It is planned that the recovery related activities, such as water and sanitation (watsan), will cover latrines and tube wells. Under health, activities related to watsan will also take place. Under capacity building, activities related to training on disaster relief management and preparing for the upcoming monsoon season will be carried out. For promotion of livelihoods, support will be provided through the repair/renovation of most affected branches following detailed engineering assessment. In addition, lessons-learned workshops, with the participation of respective BDRCS district branches, will take place, along with updating of the relief manual and provision of equipment for BDRCS' relief department. Together with the procurement of an ambulance and upgrading of some of the BDRCS vehicles for better preparedness in view of deployment in any emergency disaster situation, emergency equipment as first aid kits, rain coats, vests, etc. will also be done. Expenses related to the operation support costs will also be covered from the unspent money.

Coordination and partnerships

The rehabilitation of watsan facilities was a priority for families affected by the floods. The remaining funds from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), with their permission, were used to scale-up the existing watsan activities, approximately.reaching an additional 9,000 beneficiaries (1,800 families). The watsan activities conducted from the balance of ECHO funds (EUR 49,424 or approximately CHF 78,920) were completed in early February 2008.

Notebooks, flyers, IEC materials, monthly desk planners and brochures were distributed to Movement members, key humanitarian agencies such as the UN and media and government offices for dissemination and awareness building purposes.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society: Mr. M. Shafiul Alam (secretary- general), email: bdrcs@bangla.net, phone: +88.02.935.2226.

Country delegation in Bangladesh: Mr. Selvaratnam Sinnadurai (head of delegation), email: selvaratnam.sinnadurai@ifrc.org, phone: +88.02.933.7314, fax: +88.02.934.1631.

South Asia regional delegation in Delhi: Mr. Al Panico (head of regional delegation), email: al.panico@ifrc.org, phone: +91 11 2411 1122, fax: +91 11 2411 1128.

Asia Pacific zone office in Kuala Lumpur: Disaster management unit: Mr. Latifur Rahman (regional disaster management delegate), email: latifur.rahman@ifrc.org; phone: +603.9207,5723, mobile; +60.12,975,0144; regional logistics unit: Jeremy Francis (regional logistics coordinator), jeremy.francis@ifrc.org; +603,9207,5753; fax: 603,2161,1210.

In Geneva:,Christine South (operations coordinator), email: christine.south@ifrc.org, phone: +41.22.730.4529, fax: +41.22.733.0395