July 10, 2009
Bangladesh 2009 © Veronique Terrasse/MSF
Nearly two months after Cyclone Aila devastated East India and the coast of Bangladesh, the plight of survivors is no longer headline news. However, daily flooding is making their recovery almost impossible. In North 24 Parganas district, one of the worst affected areas in West Bengal,India, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing humanitarian assistance in remote villages.
"Most of the houses collapsed, including ours. We’ve been displaced for a month and a half and there’s no sign of improvement. You can see the roof of our house from here. We can’t return as it’s still under water. We’ve lost our goats and cooking utensils, clothes, grain and most of our belongings were washed away."
— Usha Mondal, 23-year-old, Tongtala village
Usha Mondal, 23, points to her former home sunk deep in the floodwaters. It’s just a few meters from the embankment where she now lives with her husband and her five-year-old son in a temporary hut made of flimsy bamboo and whatever else they could find. The roof of her former house emerges from the murky water like the tip of an iceberg. It’s all Mondal has left since Cyclone Aila struck.
"My daughter’s house is made of bricks and is situated on the embankment on higher ground. I’m staying there with five other families from the neighborhood. There are four rooms with five people in each room."
— Krishnapadamondal, Kultakali Booth 131, West Bengal
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)