Before Cyclone Sidr ripped through southwest Bangladesh, Abdul Salam (28) earned his living by pulling a rickshaw, which he rented for 25 Bangladesh Taka a day (0.36 US dollars, 0.26 Swiss francs, 0.24 euros), to provide for his wife and two daughters.
"When the cyclone hit I lost my house and rickshaw. I had nothing left. It was all blown away and smashed," he says.
"The Red Crescent gave me 10,000 Bangladesh Taka (approx. 145 US dollars, 146 Swiss francs or 96 euros) but I couldn't afford a new rickshaw. They cost around 15,000 Taka so I bought an old one for 8,000 Taka and with the rest I bought a goat. I now earn around 3,500 Taka (approx. 51 US dollars, 51 Swiss Francs, 34 euros) a month," he explains.
Abdul is grateful for the help he received. His new house was donated by an NGO, and, he adds: “The Red Crescent gave me food and money to start a new life. Previously I had to rent my rickshaw but now it is my own, so things are much better. It is still a hard life but now I can live happily with my family and not have to rely on anybody else."
Mohammed Keramot Ali, livelihoods programme manager for the Cyclone Sidr operation says: "Our objective is to restore people's livelihoods and help them become self-sufficient. The training that beneficiaries receive is another asset that will assist them in the future."
The livelihoods programme in Lota Baria village approved 99 proposals from 235 applicants who had qualified for funding and all have been successful.