Cyclone Aila: Bangladesh Family Escapes

Bangladesh mother

Fatima, whose CRS-built family home was damaged by Cyclone Aila, stands with one of her children as she talks with CRS staff about the storm. Photo by Snigdha Chakraborty/CRS

Fatima lives with her two children and her mother in Mongla, in the Bagerhat district of Bangladesh. Her mother’s house was built by CRS after an earlier thatched dwelling was lost to Cyclone Sidr in 2007. When Cyclone Aila hit this week, Fatima took her children, her younger sister, and the sister’s 3-month-old baby and fled to a school building about a mile away. They walked in water almost up to their heads, fighting high waves.

Fatima’s mother stayed alone in the house, because she did not want to leave it. Later, though, the water started rising higher. Her mother managed to get out in the night with the help of a neighbor.

Fatima and her family stayed for two days in a camp with a handful of dry food. The small babies could not eat anything for two days. Their house floor has become soggy, like a paddy field – they can’t walk on it and nothing was salvaged.

Now, they are staying in a neighbor’s house. They have access to only one bucket of safe drinking water for six people. They are not sure how or when can they rebuild their house because water is everywhere.

Reported by Snigdha Chakraborty, Country Manager for CRS in Bangladesh

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