From the outset of the flood, our local partners responded to what the IFRC called "one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years". You are almost certainly thinking of the tragic flooding that took place in Houston, which was widely featured on mainstream media.
The flood we were responding to however, dominated the Indian subcontinent for nearly a week, even before the rain in Texas began - a flood that has affected more than 41 million people across Bangladesh, India and Nepal. An area roughly the size of the UK was underwater.
In a moment of respite our Project Manager from SAFE, Apu Roy, was able to interview residents of Jogen Babu Maath slum in northwest Bangladesh about their experience during the disaster. One man recalled the shock and speed of the rising floodwaters,
Such events are intimately linked with climate change. These 'Black Swans' not only cause intense suffering and loss, but the long-term implications are felt far beyond. In Bangladesh, there is concern about food shortages and spread of disease in the coming months, as well as severe knock-on effects to the rice harvest and livelihoods over the coming year.
One woman we spoke with said she had never experienced anything like it,
Another resident talked of the conditions in JBM, the aftermath and growing concerns,
In the face of such adversity we appreciate the heroism, resiliency and care shown by our team on the ground, and the community committee in JBM. Our collective response, thus far, has led to the decontamination of 47 tubewells, the repair and opening of our recently completed WASH facility, and disinfection of people's homes and belongings.
With your help, we've been able to act swiftly and effectively to ensure access to clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as reduce the potential spread of disease - thank you.
We know there is still much work to be done. Upcoming challenges include drainage, house repairs / rebuilding and road surfacing.
If you would like to contribute to the further recovery of JBM, please donate here.
Author: N. Ardaiz