10 months ago

Shelterless and Sleepless | Baunia Abad, Sandeshkhali | 27 May 2020

To reach Baunia Abad village in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas, you need to get off your vehicle and travel the last 3 km on ferry and then local transport. The scenes that greeted our ground team once they crossed the river were those of destruction and sadness.

From a distance, the entire village appeared to be under water, and in face the team could not enter it. The river embankment was broken during the cyclone and as a result there was nothing to stop the flow of the sea water brought in by the cyclone into the village, its fields and houses. Most of the houses were reported damaged and under water.

More than 200 trees were damaged, and innumerable electric poles were broken or upended. There was no electricity in the village and there was salt water flooding the fields and pathways. Almost 400 of the houses we could survey were damaged, and so were some of the government buildings that were supposed to be used as shelters during crises such as these.

Food supply appeared to be adequate, but shelter was definitely a huge problem. Also, as the main source of income is from fishery work, it seems the village will take a few months at least to get back to normal, since ponds will need to be emptied out of salt water and then fill up with fresh rain water before fresh water fish start to populate.

Baunia Abad is on the brink. And we want to make a difference to our fellow citizens there. Our immediate plan would be to provide tarpaulin to keep the villagers’ houses dry and warm, and then work with them to get their livelihood back on track. Your help is needed to make this happen. To find out how you can help, reach out to any of our NGO partners.

Ground zero: Baunia Abad, Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal

Ground team: Sufiyan, Aqtedar

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/HT3yDhm2Dnmy28MU7

#amphan #noshelter #noelectricity #sandeshkhali #nolivelihood #lockdown