Shona Mia, a 42-year-old day laborer, lost his home after it collapsed into the nearby pond. (p-BGD0266)
When Cyclone Sidr hit the village of Nijhawla in Bangaldesh's Pataukhali district, many people died, houses were destroyed and livelihoods lost.
Shona Mia, a 42-year-old day laborer, lost his home after it collapsed into the nearby pond. "The only thing I could save was a few sheets of corrugated iron", he remembers. "We stayed in a nearby cyclone shelter and afterwards in a shop which had survived."
Depending on their needs, affected people received between 5,000 Bangaldeshi Taka (approx. 73 US dollars, 73 Swiss francs or 48 euro) and 10,000 Bangaldeshi Taka from the Red Cross Red Crescent to rebuilt or repair their homes. They also received a toolkit and were trained in how to use it.
"It was a very difficult time. We only had a temporary shelter, no latrine and we had to send our three younger children to Dhaka to stay with our eldest son since it was not safe for them here”, says Shona Mia.
“It has taken us a year get our house back. We are very happy now - we have plans for our own tea shop, to finish some additions to the core shelter and to bring our children home. We think very well of the Red Crescent."
Shona and his family have already made some changes to the core shelter where they live with their two grandchildren: The structure has been extended on two sides and an internal bamboo wall was moved to make more space. They have created a mezzanine level and have cut windows into the walls for natural light.
"I am very impressed with what they have done”, explains IFRC shelter delegate, Xavier Genot. "They have made this their home and made smart choices to make it fit their own needs. This shows that we were able to give them the support they needed to help them with their own sheltering process."