Bangladesh: Building resilience

Would you like to save lives in Bangladesh?


Help save lives in Bangladesh

You can help give families the skills to protect themselves from increasingly frequent natural disasters, as well as give many women the confidence to earn a living for themselves.

Your donation can do something brilliant

It will go towards funding innovative schemes that will help people like Rahima Begum to take care of her family. Rahima and her children, live on a low-lying island - a char - in Fulsori, Gaibandha district. Oxfam helped her raise the ground supporting her family home by nine feet, to ensure it remains above the highest flood level.

"We have faced floods several times, but in September 2012, a devastating flood engulfed all our belongings. We were able to escape with the local lifeboat to higher ground, but afterwards, everything was ruined. So, we and 11 neighbours agreed to have the plinths of our homes raised with Oxfam's support. Our lives, livestock and crops are now protected from future floods and our children play on the raised land."

Rahima was one of 11,000 people, mostly women, who received training and support to protect their homes.

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What your money can buy

  • £26 is enough to construct a vital latrine;
  • £60 is enough to provide a plot of land that can be used to teach communities the most effective farming techniques;
  • £150 is enough to provide a family with their own cow.

Fatema Begum is just one of the people benefiting from this project.

Photo: Oxfam

A bit of background

Large areas of Bangladesh experience frequent and life-threatening floods, cyclones and droughts. And it's the poorest communities that are always the hardest hit. Houses, roads, crops and livestock can be swept away. Farmland destroyed and water supplies contaminated - ruining lives and livelihoods that take years to rebuild.

And it's women who suffer the most, having few financial resources or little say in important decisions especially after catastrophic events like these.

How we're helping

With your support, we'll literally be building on 14 years' of good work, helping to raise even more homes above flood levels, protecting families in 225 communities in the marshlands, low-lying river islands and coastal areas. To support this work we will also be installing flood-proof wells, toilets and areas to store food and keep livestock safe. Plus, we'll be helping to empower women so they have more say in their lives, and give them the skills to establish their own livelihoods that can survive the worst weather.

And by spreading the word, we hope to give community groups the knowledge and confidence to lobby the authorities for more support in the future.

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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. Ajida Begum lives in Uttar Kaligonj village, and found herself in a very common situation:

"Our family was completely dependent on my husband and it was difficult to maintain a living. My husband used to take all kinds of family decisions without consulting me, even decisions that affected my life directly."

Oxfam, through one of our local partners, helped to train Ajida how to make and sell handicrafts, and gave her the small amount of money she needed to get started.

"I joined the local community organisation in Nilphamari district. They supported me with training on how to run a crafts business. When I finished, I was given 11,000 Taka (£100) to help me start my business. Now I can earn around 175 Taka (£1.50) myself every day and help support my family. Since seeing my earnings, my husband has started respecting me more and listening to my opinion. I now feel I have more dignity, because I am involved in all family activities, including decision making."

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