Photo Essay: Children in Bangladesh need your help urgently
Children in Bangladesh need your help urgently Children in Bangladesh need urgent help after surviving the worst cyclone to hit the country in the past decade. Save the Children has launched an emergency appeal to help families rebuild their lives after their homes and crops were destroyed by Cyclone Sidr. The cyclone which struck on Thursday with an immense force, has severely affected hundreds of thousands of people. At least 3,000 people have been killed, well over 50,000 homes have been destroyed leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. The impact is devastating and children, as always, are the worst affected. This photo essay reflects the destruction and urgency of the situation. Your help is needed now.
Save the Children is there Save the Children has been operational in Bangladesh since 1972, and has been working in Barisal, the area worst-affected by the cyclone, for over two years. We were involved in disaster preparedness before the cyclone hit, and started providing aid immediately after. Above: a woman and her 3 month old child Abdullah sit outside what was their home in Chandraprosad, Bhola District in Bangladesh. Thousands of people are without food and clean water.
Our immediate response: As soon as the cyclone passed, Save the Children’s team got to work immediately to assess the damage, focusing on the needs of children, In the first few hours after the cyclone passed, we started distributing our stockpiles of: 10,000 emergency kits, with plastic sheeting and tools for families to construct temporary shelters; treatment for diarrhea, as this is one of the biggest killers of young children after an emergency; blankets to protect children from the cold and emergency food supplies and water purification tablets. Cyclone Sidr hit the village Kejzurparia at 240 km an hour and was followed by a huge meter tall tidal wave. Many children have been left to take care of themselves while their parents are searching for food. More than 3,000 schools and training centres have been damaged, jeopardizing children’s education.
Current situation More than 240,000 livestock have died and crops from 400,000 acres of land have been destroyed. This will have a huge impact on families’ livelihoods. "My son held my hand until he was pulled away from my grip by the tidal wave. I didn't see him before two days later. He was dead, says a devastated Hasina while her two surviving daughters are clinging to her." -Hasina
Within 48 hours we... began setting up safe space areas where children can come for a hot meal and a place to play safely while their parents construct shelters. We distributed hygiene kits with soap and water containers to reduce the risk of disease and continue meeting immediate needs by distributing food, diarrhoea treatment, blankets, emergency kits and 100,000 water purification tablets. Above: Cyclone Sidr Survivor Taslima eats with two of her four children. Suraiya (left), 3 years old, and Sumo, 6, at their home in the village of Khadordah, Barisal District in Bangladesh on November 19, 2007. The whole family was at home during the storm. Relief workers are rushing to get basic aid to areas most effected by cyclone Sidr.
Being prepared saves lives Save the Children was prepared for the cyclone and we supported the large-scale evacuation of children and families before the storm. We also deployed staff and equipment, including rescue boats, to the area and arranged for food and water purification supplies to be sent to the at-risk areas in anticipation of our emergency response. These preparations saved tens of thousands of lives – in 1991, a cyclone of a similar strength to the one that hit on Thursday night, killed 140,000 people.
Distributing relief Scores of people wait at a distribution point for high energy biscuits being given out by Save The Children in the village of Senerhat, Barisal District in Bangladesh on November 19, 2007. Relief workers are rushing to get basic aid to areas most effected by cyclone Sidr.
In the next few days and weeks we will: Distribute ‘education in a box’ kits to enable children to prevent children from missing out on their schooling, help spread health and hygiene messages to reduce disease outbreak, and help give children a sense of normality in a time of crisis. Start immunizing children against measles where there are large groups of displaced people living in close proximity. Above: High energy biscuits are moved to a distribution center overseen by Save The Children in the village of Senerhat, Barisal District in Bangladesh.
Destroyed Homes The mosque where Hasina and her children took shelter was destroyed by a boat that was thrown at shore by the tidal wave. When Hasina and her daughters Jackie and Sonia returned to their home the house, furniture and crops were all gone.