In the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan, with homes and livelihoods washed away, most residents in Bangladesh try to survive, some migrate.
By Inzamamul Haque
Sahil Uddin Moral, 57, used to work as a labourer to support his family of six. They live in Kurikahnia, a village in the district of Satkhira, south-west Bangladesh. In May, Cyclone Amphan washed away their hut. Moral has no money to build another, and no work as the cyclone destroyed the fisheries where he used to work.
“How do we survive now?” Moral said. “I have no way other than leaving Satkhira. I am going to Sylhet [in north-east Bangladesh] tomorrow. I have some relatives there who left Satkhira a few years ago. If I can get some work, I will take my family members there.”
Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal, India, on 20 May, and devastated the area, with indigenous residents worst affected.
The effects were just as severe in Satkhira, the adjacent district in Bangladesh. The cyclone washed away embankments, homes and the fisheries on which thousands of families used to survive.
Moral said, “During the cyclone, we were at the cyclone shelter. When we returned, we found water everywhere. We don’t know how we will recover from this damage.”
According to government estimates, approximately 150 kilometres of embankments – meant to protect villages and farms from storms and high tides that bring saline water to this coastal region – were washed away, 55,667 houses damaged beyond repair and 18,235 drinking-water points destroyed. Many freshwater ponds are flooded with saline water.
These photographs were taken a few weeks later.
The climate refugees
Feature image: Eighty-year-old Karim Gazi first lost his home in 2009 to Cyclone Aila. He built a new home in Bonnyatola village near the Kholpetua river in the district of Satkhira, south-west Bangladesh. Cyclone Amphan washed away his new home.
— All photos by Inzamamul Haque
The Third Pole is a multilingual platform dedicated to promoting information and discussion about the Himalayan watershed and the rivers that originate there. This report was originally published on thethirdpole.net and has been reproduced here with permission.
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