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Facing Cyclone Remal: Dhaka's Excluded Areas Struggle


Charles helping the community after the cyclone in Dhaka

Cyclone Remal's Devastation in Bangladesh

At the end of May 2024, a powerful Cyclone named Remal ravaged parts of India and Bangladesh. It was “one of the longest ever experienced by the country” observed Azizur Rahman, Director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. This brutal natural disaster battered the region for more than 36 hours, leaving a trail of destruction.


According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) of Bangladesh, Tropical Cyclone Remal affected around 4.59 million people in the country. Over 800,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes, and 16 people lost their lives across seven districts.


Impact on Dhaka's Excluded Areas

In Bhashantek, an excluded area of Dhaka where our Training and Development Center is located, the streets were flooded for several days. The cyclone caused widespread electricity and water cuts throughout the capital city. Youth and their families in these areas, who are particularly vulnerable to such events, faced severe impacts as most of their homes were completely flooded.




Personal Stories of Resilience

Moriom, a Youth currently enrolled in the LP4Y training program, shared how her family faced these difficulties. Despite the severe weather and damage to her home, Moriom was present at the Center every morning during the cyclone. Along with other Youth we accompany in Dhaka, she adapted to the conditions and helped her family repairing and dealing with the storm's aftermath.


"It was challenging, but we had to stay strong and support each other," Moriom said.

Like 27 million people in the country, Bhashantek slum residents faced hours-long electricity cuts due to cyclone. Damaged sanitation facilities further contaminated water sources, posing health risks.




Broader Implications: Climate Change and Vulnerability

The aftermath of the storm reveals the resilience of communities as they come together to rebuild their homes, restore power, and heal their wounds. However, the impact of Cyclone Remal extends beyond physical damage, highlighting the urgent need for global cooperation to combat climate change.


Azizur Rahman attributes this phenomenon to "the impact of climate change." The increasing frequency of natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, storm surges, droughts, and deadly heatwaves has made Bangladesh one of the most vulnerable countries regarding climate change. According to government estimates, by 2050, one in every seven Bangladeshis will be displaced due to climate change — around 13.3 million people.


TESTIMONY OF MORIOM

Moriom's portrait

Hello everyone, my name is Moriom, I am 20 years old and I joined LPY4 two months ago. I live in Bhashantek, an excluded area of Dhaka.


When Cyclone Remal hit, it was terrifying. Our house flooded super quickly and we had to leave everything behind. For a few days, my family and I had to move to my uncle’s place to be safe. When we returned, our house was a mess. Our beds and other furniture have been strongly damaged and all of our clothes have been wet. We lost a lot, and it was hard to find clean water or electricity. Still, some friends came to help us to remove the water from our house and to save what we could save out of it.


That kind of situation happened last year in October already. We had to face the same difficulties. And I think it will happen again.


During the time period of the cyclone, my mom supported me a lot by telling me to still go every day to follow the LP4Y training, despite the difficulties we had to face. 


Thanks to organizations like LP4Y, I am learning skills to help me find a job. Even though the cyclone was tough, I am hopeful for the future. We are strong, and we will rebuild together.



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