When Cyclone Aila hit Bangladesh and the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on 25 May, it caused huge damage to people’s homes and livelihoods. Over half a million people have been displaced and tidal surges have destroyed acres of farm land used for growing rice.
Many in the Sundarbans delta that straddles south-west Bangladesh and parts of West Bengal said they not remember such a destructive storm. Caritas India and Bangladesh were quick into action providing affected communities with shelter before the storm and for those who had lost homes with food and clean water.
“We would have died had you not been here beside us”, said Satish Mali, who is one of the 1,900 people receiving cooked food in Kalinagar through Caritas India partners.
Caritas has launched a US $ 1.1 million to support Caritas India’s work in West Bengal, helping 20,000 families with shelter, livelihoods where necessary and food. And in Bangladesh, Caritas hopes to raise US $2.1 million to supply drinkable water to 4,200 homes and provide shelter material to repair the houses of 2,500 families and build 500 new houses.
Caritas India partners Seva Kendra Calcutta (SKC) sent these series of blog reports on their journey through some of the worst affected areas.
Blog 1: After the storm
Blog 2: Cooking for the needy
Blog 3: Hope Returns in India after Aila
Blog 4: Pockets of need
Blog 5: Feeding the 5000
Blog 6: Emerging problems