Shelter now the priority following Bangladesh cyclone, says aid agency

By staff writers
November 22, 2007

Shelter is the most immediate need as up to one million people face homelessness after Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh leaving thousands dead, Christian charity World Vision has said.

As families start returning home after the cyclone, the full extent of devastation to homes is becoming clear. Forty-five year old Nirmal Moithra, of Kalikabari village in the Mongla sub-district, sent his two children away to the storm shelter while he stayed back to guard his small home made of coconut trees, bamboo and a thatch of local material. But he could only run to save his life when the strong winds that accompanied the cyclone blew down his home.

"I need to put a roof over the head of my children," he said. "But I do not know how I am going to do this."

"Shelter is definitely the priority," said Vince Edwards, Executive Director of World Vision Bangladesh, who is coordinating the relief response. "World Vision is providing temporary shelters as part of a longer term rehabilitation programme."

World Vision will provide 9,300 temporary shelters and is already distributing seven-day relief packs for families. Emergency teams are also providing first aid services to those hurt by falling rubble or trees.

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