Hasina Begum (46) is a Disaster Management Unit volunteer who protected her community during cyclone ‘Mocha’. She shares her account of working with the community during the category 4 cyclone.
After being informed about cyclone ‘Mocha’ from our DMU leader on May 10, for five straight days, we shared awareness messages about the cyclone in the camps.
"We also use a WhatsApp group where CARE staff and the Camp Protection Personnel (CPP) focal provides various important information. Considering the impending cyclone, a meeting was conducted on May 12, 2023. Initially, community members disregarded the warnings. However, after three days, on May 13, majority of them began taking the situation seriously.
On May 14, the winds intensified within the camps. At approximately 1:15 PM (local time), the DMU leader organized a meeting in an open space within camp A4 sub-block. He advised us to prepare ourselves and gather all our belongings. As a result, we became more cautious and successfully evacuated two families to the Learning Center (LC) and eight families to the Handicap International office.
We also hoisted three flags indicating signal number 10 on the same afternoon. Working together with SMS volunteers, we made concerted efforts to save lives from the cyclone. We lowered the flags in the evening with information from the Senior SMS Officer and the CPP focal of the camp. Once the wind strength weakened, everyone in the camp was at ease and felt safe.”