CLP provides flood relief to char-dwellers

20140820_100633The Chars Livelihoods Programme has begun its flood relief efforts through distribution of a Flood Support Package to affected char-dwellers.

A total of 8,850 households in five Upazilas were identified as being in need of flood relief in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Tangail and Jamalpur Districts. Relief work will begin this week, with a package worth Tk. 1,100 (around £9) being provided to each household. The total cost of the relief work will be in the region of Tk. 9.72m (around £81k).

The Flood Support Package will provide enough supplies for a household (based on a family of four) for a five-day period. Thirteen key food and household items are included in the package. These are rice, smashed rice, molasses, edible oil, pulses, toilet soap, salt, biscuits, potatoes, oral saline, candles, match boxes and water purifying tablets.

All these items were also included in the relief package distributed during the 2007 floods.

Every year households on the chars suffer during the rainy season and it is the extreme-poor that suffer the most. Extreme-poor households usually live day-to-day, engaging in unreliable, low paid employment which means many do not have savings. When a disaster such as flooding hits, they do not have financial safety nets to compensate for loss of work during this time. They also do not have the resources to enable them to build back after the flooding is over. This makes households increasingly vulnerable each time a disaster hits and keeps them in a perpetual cycle of poverty. This year has been no different. People’s houses have been submerged by the floods, with some families living knee deep in water throughout their homes.

Verification of HH_Flooded kitchen areaCooking is proving extremely difficult. Those that are fortunate enough can find a boat to cook on, however others resort to creating make-shift structures above the water level. Further, many crops have been damaged, increasing food insecurity. Many households’ tube wells and latrines have been submerged or damaged by the floods. This means households have limited access to improved water sources and the lack of access to latrines force some to practice open defecation. As a result people’s health suffers and many are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and skin diseases.

Currently CLP is working with six IMOs under the Flood Support Package activities: RSDA, Aid Comilla, GUK, NDP, US and MMS. In the coming days CLP headquarters will remain in close communication with all other IMOs. If the situation deteriorates further in other Upazilas, CLP will take the necessary action.

This Flood Support Package from CLP aims to reduce the vulnerability of these households, by providing a valuable lifeline to those living in some of the worst affected areas in the region.