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Help people in poor urban communities to better prepare for, and adapt to, disasters


Help give poor families the skills to adapt to increasingly extreme weather.

Just a few pounds can help rural communities cope with a changing climate. Training in new farming methods and livelihoods will help reduce levels of poverty, especially amongst women.

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Your donation can do something brilliant

Meet Munni Basfur. She lives with her husband and four children in a tiny room in a densely packed slum in Mymensingh, Bangladesh. The slum has only one water point, so Munni gets up early and has to queue for hours to collect water for drinking or washing. Life in the slum is tough. Six thousand people have access to only one dilapidated toilet block, so makeshift open drains inevitably fill up with excrement, providing a breeding ground for disease. The lack of adequate drainage means that during the monsoon the open drains overflow, and Munni's home gets flooded. Sadly, for many of the urban poor, Munni's story is all too familiar.

With your help, we will ensure that: slum dwellers' experience improved health, with fewer cases of waterborne diseases, people live in healthier environments, with improved drainage and waste collection services, communities are able to respond to disasters, including earthquakes, flooding and fires and that local governments develop policies that benefit people living in poor urban areas.

What your money can buy

£23 could provide refresher training on hygiene promotion to one community health volunteer

£33.50 could train one volunteer in first aid and search and rescue

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Munni washes up her cooking utensils, next to an open drain.

Photo: Tom Pietrasik/Oxfam

A bit of background

Every day, 4,000 Bangladeshis are moving to cities in search of a safer life, away from the challenges of increasingly extreme weather. Cities like Mymensingh and Dhaka are becoming vastly overcrowded, and the majority of people are moving into slum areas as they cannot afford to live anywhere else. Space is limited in the slums. Houses are tightly packed, so fires spread quickly and cause a lot of damage. As the slums are unplanned, there are no evacuation routes for people to get to safety quickly. Worryingly, Dhaka and Mymensingh are on an earthquake fault line, so evacuation routes are vital, but most people do not know what to do in an emergency.

Dhaka is located on a river delta, so extensive flooding occurs in the rainy season. The inadequate makeshift drainage systems cannot cope with the huge volumes of storm water. Slums are quickly inundated after monsoon showers and the incidence of waterborne diseases increases as contamination is widespread.

Through this project, we will improve the conditions in ten poor urban settlements, providing flood-proof water points, washing and toilet facilities, as well as installing decent drainage systems. We will also work closely with communities and authorities, building their knowledge about how to prepare and cope with emergencies. The project will ensure that the urban poor are heard by people in power and their needs are considered in government policies.

Download more information about this project (PDF)

How we're helping

This year, 69,281 people will directly benefit including teachers, students, committee members and planners who are all receiving training, as well as slum residents who will use the new water and sanitation facilities. At least 40 per cent of the direct beneficiaries will be women and girls.

Indirectly, over 35,000 people will benefit from an improved understanding of health and hygiene, and 450,000 residents of Mymensingh municipality will indirectly benefit from the waste collection service being piloted by this project.

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Look how far your money can go

However much you can afford, your donation will really change lives. Just ask the people we've already helped.

Hasina has lived in the slum all her life and understands the challenges facing the community well. She was elected to be the leader of a community volunteer group, set up by this project:

 "I am hopeful. I think it is going to be beautiful here! It is better already. Before, people put a cloth over their mouths. Now you can sit and walk in this area - that is a great improvement. Even if I died right now, I would be happy that the place we live in is now a bit better. I am so happy.

You can help: donate now