Feature: Flood victims in Bangladesh build flood shelter with WFP help

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original
By Huang Yanan

DHAKA, Dec 14, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) Kaliaharipur, an union in Bangladesh ' s Sirajganj district, 134 km northwest of capital Dhaka, becomes submerged every year in monsoon season which makes many poor residents living there homeless.

With the fund support from World Food Program (WFP), one local NGO named Eco-Social Development Organization (ESDO) is implementing a project to build a flood shelter in the union to provide shelter to the homeless people when flood comes.

While on a site visit recently, ESDO Executive Director Shahid Uz Zaman told Xinhua they employed 500 local people, out of them 250 men and 250 women, to build the shelter.

"They will work for two months to finish the project," Zaman said.

Zaman said each person gets 75 taka (around 1.07 U.S. dollars) of cash and 3 kg of rice per day.

According to Zaman, many local people used to stay on road after their houses were submerged.

"It is very risky for them to live on road with the cars coming and going." He said.

"After the shelter is built, they can live in the shelter safely," he added.

WFP provided 32,000 U.S. dollars and 90 tons of rice for the project. The people who are building the shelter are happy with the project.

Anwara, a 60 year-old woman, told Xinhua she likes the job because she can make some money and has enough to eat.

Kanu Singh, a 50 year-old man, used to sell firewood to support a 4-member family. But with very few income, they could eat only one meal a day. After working in the WFP project, they now have three meals.

"My wife also works here, so we can earn a lot," he said.

The WFP project is under Enhancing Resilience, one of WFP's current country programs.

Enhancing Resilience boosts community resilience to disasters and climate change. a total of 32,000 ultra poor people in Bangladesh are beneficiaries of the program.