"It was water everywhere", recalls a somewhat calm Shahanaj Parvin from Sirajganj.
Along with other districts, this year, the floods hit Sirajganj twice. First it was early-July and then again in mid-August. The onrush of water was so abrupt that people hardly got any time to save their belongings, explains Md. Alauddin Khan, Executive Director, National Development Programme, a CARE partner working in the area.
Like thousands of others, Shahanaj and her family were also stuck…had no place to go. Everything was under water. Her husband, a day labourer by profession, managed to build some raised structure, locally known as Macha, for them to stay above rising waters. As they could not cook, the four member family had to survive solely on dry foods; mostly Chira-Muri (flattened and puffed rice).
On top of that Shahanaj could hardly move as the constantly-growing-baby inside her kept waiting impatiently to see his mother. She was counting days for the water to recede.
After 10-12 days, the water finally started receding and thankfully her labour pain started only after that like she prayed for. But then her ordeal still continued as there was no one to support her. Finally, one of her neighbours came forward and helped deliver the child.
Shahanaj looked worried. Her husband is a day-labourer and won’t find much work now. The house is badly damaged. Much of her kitchen pots and utensils are gone.
She badly needed money and thankfully got some from CARE Bangladesh.
CARE provided 4000 taka (USD 50) to some 800 households in Sirajganj district on 29 and 30 August as part of emergency flood response.
The amount, although not enough, should at least be able to get her started again. She plans to renovate the house and buy some kitchen stuffs with the cash.
"The small support provided by CARE and NDP, using START and UKAID funds, will help many families re-establish their tiny kitchens, homes and food stores. When the waters recede, they will at least be able to cook a hot meal again. In the past 7 days, CARE and Partners have supported 2000 households, but it is painfully clear that there are hundreds of thousands more who require support", adds Zia Choudhury, CARE Bangladesh Country Director.
Written by Hillol Sobhan, Communications and PR Coordinator, CARE Bangladesh