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JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA:

PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

Strategic interventions by the Government and Development Partners should consider:

Interventions which integrate social protection initiatives (such as regular transfers) with climate change adaptation (alternative livelihoods such as saline tolerant rice) and risk reduction measures need to be expanded.

>

Expansion and adoption of participatory integrated planning for water management in the embankment reconstruction

>

Raising plinth (shelters, water and sanitation facilities, access roads) and expansion of WASH support

>

Combination of asset and regular cash transfers to build and diversify assets

>

Supporting the dissemination of disaster risk reduction activities; and

>

Restoration of education system to prevent further school drop out

Cyclone Aila 11 months later The impact of Cyclone Aila is being felt by the affected communities many months after the disastrous event of May 2009. The international community and national government need to step up their commitments towards the affected families in addressing their unmet emergency and long term recovery needs.

The Aila affected communities are at the forefront of climate change: the results and learning from upholding their rights and addressing their needs will be pivotal in improving national and international strategies to address present and future challenges amplified by climate change.

1

This Position Paper is the result of a collective initiative of all actors working in the Cyclone AILA response, initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in close collaboration with UNDP, SolidaritĂŠs International, Muslim Aid UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Save the Children, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, DanChurchAid, ActionAid, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra, Ashroy Foundation, Rupantar, Prodipan and their 2 local partners with the purpose of bringing to light the situation of the Aila affected communities and ensuring concrete action is taken to meet their needs.

Background Cyclone Aila hit southern Bangladesh on 25th May 2009. The ensuing tidal surge flooded land and damaged embankments, particularly across Khulna and Satkhira districts, affecting 3.9 million people. Following the cyclone, 1,742 kilometers of embankments were breached and large areas remain flooded. The problems of flooding are most severe during high tides, particularly during full moon: in the last month, several re-built sections of the embankment have once more collapsed.

For more information Please contact:

Tel:- +88-02-9889765, 8814604 Fax:- +88-02-8817701

www.cccm.iom.org.bd

Statement Commitment from the international donor community and government is crucial to prevent irreversible shock to entire communities at the forefront in suffering of the effects of climate change.

design: INTENT www.intentdesign.net

International Organization for Migration -IOMHouse # 13A, Road # 136, Gulshan 1 Dhaka – 1212, Bangladesh

The presence of committed and experienced international, national NGOs and the local governmental and in the area, represents an opportunity to start tackling present and future challenges.

In the affected areas, recent livelihoods assessments have also concluded that damages in people's livelihoods, such as the death of more that 150 thousands livestock, have resulted in losses which have hindered any chance of self-recovery by the affected populations. In recent discussions (March 2010) with the affected communities, it has been highlighted how, 11 months on, households are eating less preferred food and reducing the number of meals per day to cope with their daily struggle, with serious consequences for their health and nutrition status. The precarious situation of the affected communities and long-term displaced families has also resulted in increased migration to urban centers or even spontaneous mass movement. According to the ECHO partners' assessment (October 2009), after the Cyclone Aila, about 40,000 people migrated from the Koyra Upazila of Khulna District alone. The figure is around 30,000 in Paikgacha, 18,000 in Dacope and 12,000 in Batiaghata.

1.

This paper is built upon information and estimate of all organization working in different areas in the Aila affected communities and is not the result of a systematic assessment of the area.

2.

Unless otherwise stated, the data reported in the position paper are based on: IOM displacement Tracking Matrix and Situation Reports (February and March 2010), IOM People's Priority Report (March 2010) ECHO partner Assessment Report (October 2009), IFRC Assessment (October 2009); GoB Disaster management Information Center, Summary Table (June 2009), UNDP Field Visit Report on Selected Aila Affected Areas (June 2009). The documents are available at http://www.cccm.iom.org.bd/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=8


JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION Current situation

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION Settlement and Shelter Needs

3

A total of an estimated 100,000 people are still living on embankments, inner ring roads and other high strips of land. Since November, an average of one in four families has left their settlement, to either return to their homes or to other safer rural and urban areas. Some families have stated their intention to move away from the current areas for various reasons, including for income generating activities, better access to resources and personal security.

Embankments The damages to the embankments are the main cause of the current situation. The enormous task of repairing the embankment is picking up speed now: however in several cases the rebuilt embankments have lasted only a few weeks or even days resulting in villages being inundated again, both in Satkhira and Khulna districts.

Nearly all coastal settlements have been severely damaged in Satkhira and Khulna, and a considerable number of shelters have also been destroyed in other districts. Settlements were destroyed due to breaches of embankments and damage of polder dams of Kedarbazar and Gabura locations in Satkhira and Dacope and Koira in Khulna districts. To date, affected communities of these locations are living in self-made camps on embankments which are weak and narrow. They are forced to live in squatter settlements as they cannot return to their respective places of residence due to intrusion of saline water through the breached embankments. Hence, there is an urgent need to re-develop these settlements; giving priority to the development and repair of local-level infrastructure (connecting roads, engineered embankments) in order for them to return to their respective villages, reconstruct houses, and recover their lives and livelihoods with the much awaited and needed external support.

Education and Health The damages to the embankments are the most critical cause behind the current situation. However, repairing the embankment will not be enough in restoring minimum standard of living. While recognizing the efforts of the Government in addressing the enormous damages to the embankments and monitoring its progress, recent reports have highlighted the need for a drastic change in the overall approach: the population affected by Aila should be empowered and participate on all stages of the water resources infrastructure rehabilitation efforts by following and expanding 4 existing models within the Water Development Board.

Repairing and strengthening the embankments will provide a safer environment for the families to get back on their feet; however, the losses in terms of physical and financial assets are hindering their attempts of self recovery and additional external support will be crucial

Water and Sanitation It is estimated that between 50 and 70 thousands households need to travel anywhere between 2 kilometers and 6 kilometers and in some cases even more, to obtain drinking water. The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) is providing water to some families using four 1,000 liters water tank and engine boat, but this it is only covering a tiny portion of the demand. Sanitation is also a major issue in the affected communities: basic facilities are lacking both in terms of numbers, quality and privacy- particularly for women and girls. Pit latrines have been provided in some settlements, but the numbers are much below the required numbers and sphere standards, and on average 15 families are sharing 1 latrine. Use of saline water for cooking, bathing, household activities and personal hygiene are also affecting the health and hygiene of the population, with a notable increase in the incidence of diarrhea and skin diseases.

Livelihoods and Food security Recent (March 2010) discussions with 45 communities in the affected areas have provided updated evidence of the amount of losses that the families have to cope with. In most of the communities, entire shrimp and agriculture productions have been lost as well as businesses and livestock. Income generating activities are almost non-existent and families are reducing (quantity and quality wise) their food intake, selling their possessions, migrating to other urban centers and increasing their exposure to human trafficking, primarily for adolescents. Some cash for work interventions and cash transfers have provided short term relief but have covered only a small portion of the affected families.

3.

The Daily Star, Tuesday February 16, 2010 : the article estimates that an additional 100,000 people have been displaced and moved to other areas.

4.

Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management: http://www.ipswam-bwdb.org.bd/

Most schools and educational institutions are still under water. Although water has receded from some of the schools, often surrounding areas are not accessible restraining children's school attendance. Some informal schools are seen on the embankments and surrounding areas of the settlements, but the number of attending students are low compared to regular school attendance. Health services are inadequate to cover the needs of the affected families: while most of the service centers in various unions are under water, the Upazila Health Complexes are the only functional health centers. However the distance and costs involved in reaching them, hinders people's capabilities in taking advantage of these facilities.

Priority for Action: Upholding rights and addressing needs It is estimated that as of March 2010, less than 10% of the households currently struggling for their daily survival in the Aila affected area have been supported by any government or nongovernmental intervention. The support has been diverse in nature and has included in some cases asset transfers (such as boats, nets, livestock and food), cash transfers, shelter kits, and other non-food and emergency items (such as mosquito nets, jerry cans, blankets). The organizations endorsing this position paper believe that further and continuing financial commitments are required to increase the scope and coverage of existing interventions to support more affected families. Emergency interventions to address the basic survival and protection needs of the affected families, with a special focus to children, should be implemented in parallel with early recovery activities to support the restoration of livelihoods, shelter and basic water and sanitation standards with the primary objective of decreasing people's vulnerability. Interventions should maximize households' participation in the process and increase their ability to cope with flooding and erosion by diversifying and create a mobile asset base and by providing year-round access to drinking water and sanitation.

Food and safe drinking water are scarce and long lasting physical and mental health effects will occur unless additional external support is provided.


JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION Current situation

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION Settlement and Shelter Needs

3

A total of an estimated 100,000 people are still living on embankments, inner ring roads and other high strips of land. Since November, an average of one in four families has left their settlement, to either return to their homes or to other safer rural and urban areas. Some families have stated their intention to move away from the current areas for various reasons, including for income generating activities, better access to resources and personal security.

Embankments The damages to the embankments are the main cause of the current situation. The enormous task of repairing the embankment is picking up speed now: however in several cases the rebuilt embankments have lasted only a few weeks or even days resulting in villages being inundated again, both in Satkhira and Khulna districts.

Nearly all coastal settlements have been severely damaged in Satkhira and Khulna, and a considerable number of shelters have also been destroyed in other districts. Settlements were destroyed due to breaches of embankments and damage of polder dams of Kedarbazar and Gabura locations in Satkhira and Dacope and Koira in Khulna districts. To date, affected communities of these locations are living in self-made camps on embankments which are weak and narrow. They are forced to live in squatter settlements as they cannot return to their respective places of residence due to intrusion of saline water through the breached embankments. Hence, there is an urgent need to re-develop these settlements; giving priority to the development and repair of local-level infrastructure (connecting roads, engineered embankments) in order for them to return to their respective villages, reconstruct houses, and recover their lives and livelihoods with the much awaited and needed external support.

Education and Health The damages to the embankments are the most critical cause behind the current situation. However, repairing the embankment will not be enough in restoring minimum standard of living. While recognizing the efforts of the Government in addressing the enormous damages to the embankments and monitoring its progress, recent reports have highlighted the need for a drastic change in the overall approach: the population affected by Aila should be empowered and participate on all stages of the water resources infrastructure rehabilitation efforts by following and expanding 4 existing models within the Water Development Board.

Repairing and strengthening the embankments will provide a safer environment for the families to get back on their feet; however, the losses in terms of physical and financial assets are hindering their attempts of self recovery and additional external support will be crucial

Water and Sanitation It is estimated that between 50 and 70 thousands households need to travel anywhere between 2 kilometers and 6 kilometers and in some cases even more, to obtain drinking water. The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) is providing water to some families using four 1,000 liters water tank and engine boat, but this it is only covering a tiny portion of the demand. Sanitation is also a major issue in the affected communities: basic facilities are lacking both in terms of numbers, quality and privacy- particularly for women and girls. Pit latrines have been provided in some settlements, but the numbers are much below the required numbers and sphere standards, and on average 15 families are sharing 1 latrine. Use of saline water for cooking, bathing, household activities and personal hygiene are also affecting the health and hygiene of the population, with a notable increase in the incidence of diarrhea and skin diseases.

Livelihoods and Food security Recent (March 2010) discussions with 45 communities in the affected areas have provided updated evidence of the amount of losses that the families have to cope with. In most of the communities, entire shrimp and agriculture productions have been lost as well as businesses and livestock. Income generating activities are almost non-existent and families are reducing (quantity and quality wise) their food intake, selling their possessions, migrating to other urban centers and increasing their exposure to human trafficking, primarily for adolescents. Some cash for work interventions and cash transfers have provided short term relief but have covered only a small portion of the affected families.

3.

The Daily Star, Tuesday February 16, 2010 : the article estimates that an additional 100,000 people have been displaced and moved to other areas.

4.

Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management: http://www.ipswam-bwdb.org.bd/

Most schools and educational institutions are still under water. Although water has receded from some of the schools, often surrounding areas are not accessible restraining children's school attendance. Some informal schools are seen on the embankments and surrounding areas of the settlements, but the number of attending students are low compared to regular school attendance. Health services are inadequate to cover the needs of the affected families: while most of the service centers in various unions are under water, the Upazila Health Complexes are the only functional health centers. However the distance and costs involved in reaching them, hinders people's capabilities in taking advantage of these facilities.

Priority for Action: Upholding rights and addressing needs It is estimated that as of March 2010, less than 10% of the households currently struggling for their daily survival in the Aila affected area have been supported by any government or nongovernmental intervention. The support has been diverse in nature and has included in some cases asset transfers (such as boats, nets, livestock and food), cash transfers, shelter kits, and other non-food and emergency items (such as mosquito nets, jerry cans, blankets). The organizations endorsing this position paper believe that further and continuing financial commitments are required to increase the scope and coverage of existing interventions to support more affected families. Emergency interventions to address the basic survival and protection needs of the affected families, with a special focus to children, should be implemented in parallel with early recovery activities to support the restoration of livelihoods, shelter and basic water and sanitation standards with the primary objective of decreasing people's vulnerability. Interventions should maximize households' participation in the process and increase their ability to cope with flooding and erosion by diversifying and create a mobile asset base and by providing year-round access to drinking water and sanitation.

Food and safe drinking water are scarce and long lasting physical and mental health effects will occur unless additional external support is provided.


JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA: PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

JOINT POSITION PAPER ON

CYCLONE AILA:

PRIORITIES FOR ACTION

Strategic interventions by the Government and Development Partners should consider:

Interventions which integrate social protection initiatives (such as regular transfers) with climate change adaptation (alternative livelihoods such as saline tolerant rice) and risk reduction measures need to be expanded.

>

Expansion and adoption of participatory integrated planning for water management in the embankment reconstruction

>

Raising plinth (shelters, water and sanitation facilities, access roads) and expansion of WASH support

>

Combination of asset and regular cash transfers to build and diversify assets

>

Supporting the dissemination of disaster risk reduction activities; and

>

Restoration of education system to prevent further school drop out

Cyclone Aila 11 months later The impact of Cyclone Aila is being felt by the affected communities many months after the disastrous event of May 2009. The international community and national government need to step up their commitments towards the affected families in addressing their unmet emergency and long term recovery needs.

The Aila affected communities are at the forefront of climate change: the results and learning from upholding their rights and addressing their needs will be pivotal in improving national and international strategies to address present and future challenges amplified by climate change.

1

This Position Paper is the result of a collective initiative of all actors working in the Cyclone AILA response, initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in close collaboration with UNDP, SolidaritĂŠs International, Muslim Aid UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Save the Children, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, DanChurchAid, ActionAid, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra, Ashroy Foundation, Rupantar, Prodipan and their 2 local partners with the purpose of bringing to light the situation of the Aila affected communities and ensuring concrete action is taken to meet their needs.

Background Cyclone Aila hit southern Bangladesh on 25th May 2009. The ensuing tidal surge flooded land and damaged embankments, particularly across Khulna and Satkhira districts, affecting 3.9 million people. Following the cyclone, 1,742 kilometers of embankments were breached and large areas remain flooded. The problems of flooding are most severe during high tides, particularly during full moon: in the last month, several re-built sections of the embankment have once more collapsed.

For more information Please contact:

Tel:- +88-02-9889765, 8814604 Fax:- +88-02-8817701

www.cccm.iom.org.bd

Statement Commitment from the international donor community and government is crucial to prevent irreversible shock to entire communities at the forefront in suffering of the effects of climate change.

design: INTENT www.intentdesign.net

International Organization for Migration -IOMHouse # 13A, Road # 136, Gulshan 1 Dhaka – 1212, Bangladesh

The presence of committed and experienced international, national NGOs and the local governmental and in the area, represents an opportunity to start tackling present and future challenges.

In the affected areas, recent livelihoods assessments have also concluded that damages in people's livelihoods, such as the death of more that 150 thousands livestock, have resulted in losses which have hindered any chance of self-recovery by the affected populations. In recent discussions (March 2010) with the affected communities, it has been highlighted how, 11 months on, households are eating less preferred food and reducing the number of meals per day to cope with their daily struggle, with serious consequences for their health and nutrition status. The precarious situation of the affected communities and long-term displaced families has also resulted in increased migration to urban centers or even spontaneous mass movement. According to the ECHO partners' assessment (October 2009), after the Cyclone Aila, about 40,000 people migrated from the Koyra Upazila of Khulna District alone. The figure is around 30,000 in Paikgacha, 18,000 in Dacope and 12,000 in Batiaghata.

1.

This paper is built upon information and estimate of all organization working in different areas in the Aila affected communities and is not the result of a systematic assessment of the area.

2.

Unless otherwise stated, the data reported in the position paper are based on: IOM displacement Tracking Matrix and Situation Reports (February and March 2010), IOM People's Priority Report (March 2010) ECHO partner Assessment Report (October 2009), IFRC Assessment (October 2009); GoB Disaster management Information Center, Summary Table (June 2009), UNDP Field Visit Report on Selected Aila Affected Areas (June 2009). The documents are available at http://www.cccm.iom.org.bd/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=8


Position Paper -Priorities for action