06/02/2021, 11.44
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Cyclone leaves 26 villages in Khulna district without food and drinking water

by Sumon Corraya

Flooding caused by Cyclone Yass wrecked havoc in an area where 30,000 people live. Because of damages to crops and fish ponds, many residents have lost their jobs and aid is slow in comping.


Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Cyclone Yass swept across India and Bangladesh in late May killing at least six people and leaving a trail of destruction.

In Khulna, a region in southern Bangladesh, cropland, farms and houses were submerged. Large swaths of the coastal region is now without food and drinking water.

"As a result of Cyclone Yass, all ponds have been flooded with saltwater. This has forced us to get water seven kilometres from here,” said Shuda Mondol, a housewife from the village of Ghigrakhati, speaking to AsiaNews after she returned from another village, Kolaputa.

Water is also a problem for Shila Rani, a woman with a family of six. “Every day it takes me five or six hours to collect water from a neighbouring village,” she explained. “A water jar will last one day; so we are drinking less.”

By destroying the crops and fish farms in the Khulna region, the cyclone has left residents not only without water and food, but also without work since many of them are daily labourers.

Finding water for animals like cows and chicken is also a challenge; and sanitation is a major issue because of the loss of toilet facilities. About 30,000 people in 26 villages are in this situation.

Animesh Biswas, a local government official, admitted that food was in short supply and that the government was not providing aid. Several local NGOs have been asked to help cope with the emergency.

Daud Jibon Das, regional director of Caritas Khulna, said that the Catholic charity has already appealed to a number of donors to help the victims.

Khulna is a low-lying district prone to environmental disasters. Most houses are made of mud bricks and in recent years storms have destroyed thousands of them, uprooted trees and wiped out crops.

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