Supporting communities affected by Cyclone Mocha in Bangladesh

Self Help AfricaClimate Change, News

Refugee communities in Cox’s Bazaar felt the full brunt of Cyclone Mocha when it made landfall in Bangladesh.

Cyclone Mocha is the worst tropical storm to hit the coastlines of Bangladesh in a decade. Scores of people have been reported dead and many thousands more displaced. 

Self Help Africa has joined international agencies, local disaster management committees and community-based organisations to assist affected communities at Cox’s Bazar and south/south-western coastal areas.

Cyclone preparedness is key to our work in Bangladesh, where we’ve been working for many years through our sister organisation United Purpose. 

Bangladesh is  a country exceptionally vulnerable to the impacts of clime change and natural disasters such as cyclones. With winds up to 130mph, Cyclone Mocha is one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the region this century. It caused violent gusts, torrential rainfall and flooding, earlier this week.

Self Help Africa’s cyclone preparedness work is being carried out as part of our IOM and ECHO-backed projects that focus on strengthening early response actions in cyclone-prone regions. This includes implementing a Cyclone Preparedness and Early Action Plan, so that people can take action before a cyclone strikes, to save their lives and protect valuable assets. 

“When Cyclone Mocha was forecast, some of this planning was put into action in the communities where we’re already working,” said Jaber Hassan, a spokesman for the Bangladesh programme. “Team members have been delivering weather forecasts and warnings to communities. Fishing communities were advised to suspend activities, and farmers were advised to cut and harvest their ripe and nearly-ripe rice in advance of the storm,” he said.

“Our focus now is on supporting communities affected to rebuild damaged houses, and regroup after this terrible event,” he added.