Caritas Bangladesh hands out aid to thousands of flood victims (photos)
About eight million people have had to leave their homes in 32 districts. All South Asia has been affected by flooding. In Dinajpur, the Catholic charity has been providing two meals a day for 204 families. Tomorrow, it will provide aid to 1,550 families in Rajshahi. Bishop Gervas Rozario brings comfort to the victims.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Lashed by heavy rains, thousands of people have been displaced in Bangladesh with at least 120 people killed in the resulting flooding.
According to official figures, about eight million people have had to leave their homes in 32 districts (out of 64) seeking shelter in displaced people camps. Given the magnitude of the problem, government agencies have been unable to help everyone.
In light of this, Bangladesh Caritas went into action and in a short period of time has been able to hand out aid to almost 4,000 people in the diocese of Dinajpur.
Tomorrow aid will go out to displaced persons in the diocese of Rajshahi. The latter were visited by the local bishop, Mgr Gervas Rozario, who brought comfort to those who lost everything (pictured).
Denis Baskey, Caritas regional director in Rajshahi, told AsiaNews that "Starting tomorrow we will distribute aid to 1,550 families. They will get rice and cooking oil."
The recent surge in heavy rains that have battered South Asian nations have flooded roads and caused rivers to overflow. Through its regional offices in the country’s eight dioceses, Caritas Bangladesh went immediately to work to bring relief.
"Food, tents and washing are the priority needs at this moment,” said Pintu William Gomes, a senior official with Caritas Disaster Management. “Some had food for one time, but now they are completely dependent on external food support. An army team is working to provide food support, but reaching remote areas is difficult."
All parishes have made appeals to their congregations on behalf of flood victims, asking for donations of clothes and money.
Fr Kamal Corraya, pastor in the Tejgaon Parish, one of the largest in Bangladesh, did as well. "I asked parishioners to give what they could to the flood victims,” he said. “I wrote a letter to all Catholic organisations, and the feedback was positive. We managed to collect thousands of clothes and more than 500,000 Taka (US$ 6,200). People are still donating."
One of the donors is Subash Gomes, from Tejgaon Parish. "I gave money because I could not sleep seeing the hardships of our flood-affected brothers and sisters."
Dinajpur Caritas offices are providing two meals a day to 204 displaced families (3,927 people) living in tents, Pintu William Gomes noted.
Caritas Bangladesh is also planning further action in coordination with Caritas Internationalis.