COAST first response as insider in Teknaf and St Martin peninsula to...

COAST first response as insider in Teknaf and St Martin peninsula to the aftermath of Cyclone Mora : Preparing for next stage

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30-05-2017-Cyclone-Mora-6001_IndexOn 30 May 2017 Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh’s coastal region at 6 AM in the morning. Approximately 2,811,465 people were affected across 12 high-risk coastal districts in Bangladesh. According to government sources, nearly 300,000 people were evacuated from affected areas on the southern coast. Cox’s Bazaar district was particularly heavily affected.

According to District Commissioner (D.C.) for the district of Cox’s Bazar, 6 people died and 60 other injured. More than 17,023 houses have been fully damaged, 35516 houses have been partly damaged. In total 52539 families have been affected (Approximately 288000 individuals, considering 5.5 individuals in an average in each families), The island of Saint Martins and Shah Pari also have been sustained significant damages.

Huge number of trees have been fallen down, electricity disrupted, 80% of the battle-leaf garden have been severely damaged along with other crops. In Cox’sbazar district 33 Unions of 7 Upazilas are mostly affected.

COAST had taken necessary preparation for immediate responses when the forecast if the cyclone were declared.  Since 29th May COAST colleagues have been implementing some interventions in Bhola and Cox’sbazar as first responders and with COAST own fund. It established a central control room at Dhaka and other regional control Room at Cox’sbazar and Bhola. COAST has so far undertaken the following responses:

  1. At Kutubdia and Cox’sbazar Sadar upazila COAST colleagues involved with government evacuation and shelter management activities. They supported local administration with publicizing awareness about the cyclone and supplying pure drinking water and some dry food in cyclone shelters.   Our staff in the frontline were stand by for providing emergency support in Bhola and Cox’s Bazar including Kutubdia Island and Teknaf. We provided emergency food and water support to the cyclone shelters with the coordination of the local administration. COAST provided emergency food and bottled water to 210 people. As the Saint Martin and Shah Pari island were suffering from acute pure drinking water crisis, we provided two water purifier filter machine to these two islands. These machine can provide 1000 liters of water/hour.
  1. The community radio facilitated by COAST Trust, named Tadio Meghna (radiomeghna.net), located in Bhola island broadcasted 24 hours nonstop information of the cyclone. It is directly operated in Charfession of Bhola and online transmission worldwide. The Radio was continuously broadcasting Government weather forecasting and Information for the community regarding preparedness for saving their lives, and assets during 29th and 30th May. In addition to the program Radio Volunteers took interviews from Government officials, (UNOs, PIU officers, Representatives of Bangladesh Betar) Red Crescent Volunteers, Elected representatives, Journalists and community and NGOs leaders of different Upazilas and adjacent Islands of Cox’sbazar and Bhola districts and broadcasted those interviews for the community.
  1. COAST deployed a senior team from Dhaka to Teknaf for accelerate its response activities. The team took preparation for some relief activities as below:
  • With support of local community the senior team members selected 300 affected families at Saint Martin Island for distributing food package of tk- 1500/- ( Rice, Dal, Potato, Onions, Oil and Sugar) for each of the families in coordination with local Administration and Elected Leaders. The food packages have been procured from local market.
  • After conducting different community consultation at Subrang Union of Teknaf Upzila this team has also selected 100 Battle-leaf farmers for cash support of tk-2000/. All of these farmers’ field have been totally damaged by the cyclone. In presence of local administration and Union Parishad leaders the cash will be distributed on 2nd June.

4.  A part from above, COAST is gathering information with consultation of local Authorities and Elected Representatives about other’s responses and more meticulous demand of the affected communities from each of the seven Upazilas of Cox’sbazar district. COAST may seek outside supports and may take bigger response works in complementarily. The response works may have advocacy along with relief assistance.

Based on primary data COAST has recognized the following demands of the community to be addressed:

Relief assistance: Construction and reconstruction of houses, establish water point, providing education material kits for school children, input/ cash support for income base development and scale up for fishers families, creation of community assets (pond/ sweet water preserver), health and education support at Islands and so on.

Advocacy for construction of Permanent Embankment and paraben (Tree plantation). Advocacy for safety and security of fishing boats; registration with local authority, life saving equipment, modern signaling and radio service etc.

COAST is hopeful to draw attention of potential donors and development partners for implementing the above proposed interventions. If the organization somehow fails to go for partnership with others than it will try  to implement those works by its own fund and in a minimum scale.
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