With coronavirus already in the air, the evacuation and rehabilitation process has become even more complicated increasing the vulnerabilities the people will be exposed to.
IGSSS is working with its partners in Sundarbans, South West Bengal to provide immediate relief material like safety equipment, clean water, sanitation, food, and shelter.
The Fury of The Cyclone:
Cyclone Amphan is the first super cyclone formed in Bay of Bengal after 1999. It is said to possess the power of approximately 3 cyclones. In West Bengal at least 75 people have succumbed to this disaster, most of them electrocuted or killed by trees uprooted by winds gushing at a speed of 185 km per hour. 15 deaths were reported in Kolkata, 18 in South 24 Parganas and 17 in North 24 Parganas.
Millions across West Bengal are left without power and communication lines, making it hard to carry out evacuation and other relief work.
The houses, trees and other infrastructure have been completely shattered and in some places, entire villages were swamped by the winds. Around 5,500 houses were damaged in 24 North Parganas. Evacuation process has become even more complicated due to COVID-19 precautions and restrictions.
The cyclone has caused a damage of $13.2 billion in West Bengal alone
South West Bengal and Sundarbans:
South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas in South West Bengal are the worst-hit districts. Sundarbans, world’s largest mangrove ecosystem spread over 10,000 sq kilometre, is also spread across these two districts. It is an ecologically fragile biosphere, formed at the delta of three rivers. Embankments in Sundarban delta were breached as the surge whipped up by the cyclone inundated several kilometres of the Island. It is home to more than four million people who are already amongst the most marginalised in both India and Bangladesh.
IGSSS strongly believes in “Leave no one behind” and ensure will reach out to the most marginalised and underserved communities like SC, ST, Person with Disabilities, Women Headed Households, Pregnant and lactating mothers and people in the geographically remote location to ensure the last mile reach
People are dependent on the Sundarbans for food, natural resources, and climate regulation. Inhabitants of Sundarbans are small agriculturalists, fishermen and honey gatherers. With seawater entering agricultural land, officials now fear more 2 lakh farmers could be severely affected. The agrarian economy of Sundarbans is mainly based on rice-based farming on fallow land throughout the year (News18).
Beetle Vines, a source of livelihood for majority of people in Sundarbans settlements, has been destroyed majorly. Beetle vine would yield 5000 rupees per month for an individual.
60 to 70% of household with either kutcha or asbestos house suffered extensive damage and
The cyclone besides devastating people’s property and rendering them homeless also poses a health risk. Post the disaster people are exposed to multiple water-borne diseases, and at this time, even COVID.
All water sources in South 24 Parganas are either damaged or contaminated.
IGSSS in South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas is working with its local partners to provide immediate relief material in the affected areas to rebuild people's lives and ensure they live through post-disaster time comfortably without facing any life-threatening vulnerabilities.
IGSSS takes into consideration the fact that providing only immediate relief is not enough, hence it moves few steps forward by building the resilience of the disaster-hit areas through livelihood recovery and rehabilitation, awareness building on food security, water and sanitation and pre-emptive long-standing interventions.
Hence, IGSSS will work in two phases, starting with providing immediate relief to the affected areas:
In the first phase of the response, IGSSS will reach out to the affected families with Hygiene, Emergency Shelter kit, Providing clean drinking water and Non Food item kit.
55000 - Setting up of Community Water filter to provide safe drinking water
30000 - Shelter Assistance for 10 families
20000 -Essential Supplies support for 20 families
10000 -Hygiene Kit support for 10 families
Any amount of your choice
After the initial phase of immediate relief will work on short term to medium term recovery activities like shelter repair and restoring livelihood.
Cover Photo Credits: Munir Uz Zaman, AFP