“If I had stayed in my shelter, I would be dead now”
Cyclone Mocha hit Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday, 14 May. Our teams are currently assessing the damage and needs in Cox's Bazar refugee camps.
Abdur, Rohingya's refugee, lost everything after Mocha cyclone | © HI
Abdur, a 57-year-old Rohingya refugee, still hasn't processed what happened on Sunday. Hours before the super cyclone slammed into the hills of Cox's Bazar, HI staff evacuated him to a safer place. He returned after Mocha had passed through to find his shelter totally destroyed:
In response to Abdur's distress, our teams have assured him that they will provide him with all the necessary support and his shelter will be rebuilt.
Humanity & Inclusion- Handicap International helped to relocate nearly 600 beneficiaries to safety before the cyclone hit, including 112 people with disabilities. We also provided them with 4,000 litres of water and 500 dry food kits. Regarding Bangladeshi authorities, almost 200,000 people had to flee their shelters before the arrival of the super cyclone.
However, some refugees did not want to leave their makeshift shelters for fear of never returning home. Rajesh Chandra, Director of Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International ‘s programme in Bangladesh, explains how the worst was avoided:
It is now time to assess the needs. Since dawn, Humanity & Inclusion- Handicap International teams have been mobilised in the 26 camps in Cox's Bazar where we have a base, assessing the damage and the needs of our beneficiaries, whether in terms of psychosocial support or rehabilitation, or directing them towards services that can help them repair their shelters, prioritising children and adults with disabilities whose shelters have been damaged or destroyed. HI's response will therefore focus on the needs of each of our beneficiaries directly affected by the cyclone.
As things stand, in the 26 camps in which HI works:
• At least 21,000 people have been directly affected by Cyclone Mocha, although this figure may change in the coming hours;
• 3,900 shelters have been partially damaged by falling trees, especially their roofs;
• 306 shelters have been totally destroyed;
• No deaths or missing persons.
For Rajesh Chandra, Director of Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International ‘s programme in Bangladesh, the main worry now is people’s psychological and emotional state.
Problems of access to basic needs for people with reduced mobility are also a concern for HI teams.