Emergency Shelter Appeal

Cyclone Remal in Bangladesh

This devastating storm has brought flooding that destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes in Bangladesh. We are responding to support people with emergency shelter.

On 26th May 2024 Cyclone Remal made landfall in Bangladesh. It brought devastating winds and intense flooding that has forced thousands of people from their homes.

We are responding in Bangladesh. We have a ShelterBox response team in country. They are visiting the worst affected areas and meeting impacted communities. We’ll be getting emergency shelter aid to people whose homes have been destroyed in the coming weeks.

What is happening in Bangladesh?

Cyclone Remal is the most devastating storm to hit Bangladesh for some years. With torrential rains and 120km/h (75mph) winds, it wreaked havoc on low-lying coastal communities. More than 800,000 people evacuated before the storm. Ten people are known to have died.

People are now trying to return home. However the storm destroyed or severely damaged around 170,000 homes. Many villages are still underwater, and flash flooding warnings remain in place. Flood defences were breached by tidal surges. These defences were so damaged that low-lying communities have little to no defence against coastal floods.

As well as destroying homes the Cyclone has devastated livestock and livelihoods. Fields are submerged and fishing farms destroyed. And the monsoon season for Bangladesh is just beginning, bringing the prospect of further flooding.

How have people been affected?

More than 1.75 million people have been affected in southern Bangladesh. This includes displacement camps that house nearly a million Rohingya refugees.

People whose homes have been damaged or destroyed are sleeping out in the open. There has been substantial damage to infrastructure too. Many powerlines are down leaving people without electricity. Water sources have been damaged and polluted. People living out in the open, especially women and children, are at increased risk of violence. There are growing concerns about mosquitos and the spread of disease.

Bangladesh is thought to be one of the most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis. It is low-lying, has 700 rivers and faces the coast on the Bay of Bengal. This makes it very vulnerable to flooding and cyclones. And climate change is making such events more severe. As such the lives and homes of millions of people in Bangladesh are at risk.

How is ShelterBox helping?

Our response in Bangladesh is critical. We want to ensure people in these communities can shelter from the elements. There are no other aid organisations or government response in the area. We have also been meeting with local partners.

We’ll be working in partnership with a local aid organisation called Uttaran. They have experience working in cyclone-prone areas of southwestern Bangladesh. Together, and with local communities, we’ll distribute aid to people who need it most in Paikgacha, Dacope and Saronkhola.

Our focus is on helping people build emergency shelters. Our aid includes corrugated iron sheeting, timber, bamboo, rope and fixings. We want to make sure people’s living conditions are better than what they were before the cyclone hit. As such we’re focusing on higher quality shelter materials.

There will also be a small amount of cash so that people can hire local tradespeople to help them build homes. And Uttaran will be delivering training on how the aid items can be used as effectively as possible. This will help people repair their homes in a way so they can withstand future extreme weather.

Getting aid to those who need it will be challenging. Tracks to the worst affected areas are narrow. We’ll need to truck aid to the nearest main road and then use boats and / or electric carts to get the aid to where it’s needed.

Help us bring shelter to people impacted by disaster in Bangladesh and around the world.

Has ShelterBox responded in Bangladesh before?

ShelterBox previously supported people after flooding in Bangladesh in 2017 and 2019. In 2007 we responded there to Cyclone Sidr.

We also responded to the Rohingya crisis in 2017 with International Organization for Migration (IOM). Around 688,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in 2017 to escape violence and persecution. People desperately needed shelter, lighting, and water. After severe flooding in Bangladesh, these families were forced to set up makeshift camps in crowded conditions. The people who fled Myanmar were extremely vulnerable, having already experienced severe trauma. We supported over 4,000 families.

As extreme weather gets worse, we are changing how we prepare for disasters. In the last 12 months we have been focussing on preparations for potential disasters in Bangladesh. This work has given us a good foundation for our latest response.