When a disaster strikes, people living in poverty are especially vulnerable to its impacts. But Tearfund’s Christian partners are working to empower members of the community – including children and people living with disabilities – with skills and strategies to cope with emergency situations.
Each year, monsoon rains bring the risk of serious flooding to the region where these children (pictured) live in northern India, threatening lives and livelihoods. But with support from Tearfund’s Christian partner EFICOR, local children and youth are better equipped to respond in disaster situations, having participated in practice drills and education sessions. Through EFICOR’s project, families are also supported to access alternative livelihoods, providing stability in the midst of potential disruption from emergencies.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, another partner, Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD), works alongside families who live in a flood-prone area in Mongla. Over the past few years these families have endured the impacts of cyclones and floods: destruction of property, erosion of farmland, accessibility reduced and salinisation of freshwater sources from flood surges. BASD is helping at-risk families to overcome the impacts of these disasters and improve their resilience for future events. A strong network of Self-Help Groups provides a channel for information, resources and support among households. Families have the opportunity to learn adaptive livelihoods (such as permaculture in a saline context!) and explore alternative income streams. Education sessions on social, environmental and climate change issues help community members to better understand and prepare for situations that threaten their communities, empowering them to serve and protect other members of the community in the event of a disaster. As one member of the network shares:
“I have had disaster preparedness training from BASD and along with other members have helped elderly people and children go to the cyclone shelter. Me and my group members went to nearby villages and announced the alarm of Cyclone Amphan before the landfall. I am very much happy to help people in this emergency period.”
You can help provide immediate assistance and reduce the risks associated with disasters with the Gift of Disaster Preparedness.
This gift will provide immediate funds to our partners in the event of an emergency so that they can respond as soon as possible with life-giving assistance. It will also help people in communities to prepare for potential disasters, through things like training in first aid and how to keep safe in storms and cyclones.