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Address post cyclone damages while rehabilitating victims

Published : Friday, 22 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 396

Address post cyclone damages while rehabilitating victims

Address post cyclone damages while rehabilitating victims

A little over 24 hours ago, we have witnessed the devastating cyclone Amphan to have battered parts of our coastal region. Though it severely hit India's West Bengal but its impacts on our coastal region , namely in Satkhira, Jessore, Khulna, Nijhum Dwip, Hatia, Bagherhat, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Borguna, Patuakhali, Bhola and Barishal were no less destructive. Almost 24 lakh people were moved to safety but five lives were lost. However, once again the mighty Sunderbans stood like a bulwark while shielding the southern region of the country from destruction. But we are yet to estimate the actual loss of the mangrove forest while enduring the natural calamity.

However, post-Amphan situation puts us through some immediate challenges. Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods, so the government needs to ensure their proper and prompt rehabilitation. But the foremost duty is to ensure safe drinking water and food for these people. All the freshwater sources, including tube-wells in the affected areas have been flooded by salt water. Moreover, the salinity intrusion would particularly pose a health threat and cultivating with salty water is not possible. Therefore, the affected people should be given necessary financial and food assistance by the government. And soon after rehabilitation the government also needs to think about their livelihood as well. These people mostly live below the poverty line and for them getting a new source for livelihood in this pandemic period would be very tough. So, here we seek urgent and effective response from the government's end.

Another major challenge for the government would be to conduct health check-ups of those who had been evacuated to the cyclone centres. Needless to say, it would be very difficult. Though there had been 14,636 cyclone shelters but it was very difficult to maintain the social distance and other safety measures. So these cautions were ignored. Now, these people should be screened for Covid-19 symptoms and those with symptoms should be isolated immediately. Thus we need more doctors, health workers deployed in our coastal region the soonest. The volunteer teams prepared by the district administrations should help in this regard.

We must applaud the government as they have done a commendable job in evacuating people at the right time. All district administrations' concerned, law enforcers, civil defence have promptly responded to government directives and acted accordingly. We now hope that the government with all its agencies concerned will immediately address the post-cyclone challenges that the people of our coastal regions would face in the coming days. Bangladesh people have proved its strength of resilience in numerable natural disasters, and we will continue to strengthen our resilience and coping mechanisms even further.  

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