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Before disaster strikes

A mother walks with her child through a flooded area.

Monsoon season means new dangers in Hatibandha.

The heavy rains of the monsoon months in Hatibandha begin in August, swelling the rivers that spill out onto the surrounding lands and communities and bringing chaos to families already struggling to get by.

Indeed, in recent years, rising temperatures and unprecedented rainfall have only increased the odds of flash floods, which happen now multiple times a season, especially in the low-lying areas where 12-year-old Bobita and her family live.

Siblings embrace.

Bobita, 12, and her brother Jibon, 10.

Thanks to Community Sponsorship and donors like you, however, new resources and support are enabling families to better protect themselves against the perils of the monsoon season – even before it begins.

“Major changes have occurred in my family,” says Bobita, “like the plinth-raising (platform construction) initiative in which we raised our entire household yard so that the floods won’t submerge my home this year.”

Community members dig and remove earth.

Community members work to build a plinth to prevent damage from flooding.

Now “on the plinth”, and elevated above the flood level, Bobita’s family and their homestead, livestock and crops are now better protected than they’ve ever been against the storms of the rainy months. Bobita’s family and neighbours have also benefited from:

  • Disaster preparedness training in which more than 300 local women, men, girls and boys have taken part in educational sessions and mock drills, where they have learned a wide range of tactics to protect lives and property from flooding
  • Plan-donated boats that are ensuring children like Bobita and her brother can safely continue to attend school throughout the rainy season
  • Girls’ rights protection workshops for 60 adolescent girls, who face special challenges and dangers in times of flooding, including increased vulnerability to assault when out of school and greater challenges in maintaining proper menstrual hygiene.

“Plan has provided so many supports to our community and children,” says Bobita’s mother, Jerobala. “I am so grateful that our household is safe and my children are in school.”

Siblings study as their smiling mother watches.

Bobita and her brother work on their studies together, as their mother, Jerobala, proudly looks on.

“Thanks to the new boats, even though it is rainy season, we don’t miss any classes now,” adds Bobita’s 10-year-old brother, Jibon.

With children like Bobita and Jibon safe and in school, families here are weathering the storms better than ever before, keeping their eyes on the horizon of a brighter future for their families and community.

 

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