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HI volunteers evacuate people with disabilities ahead of Cyclone Mocha

Emergency Prevention

Over the weekend, Cyclone Mocha was expected to hit the world's largest refugee camp, bringing with it destructive winds, storm surge, and the potential for landslides. With 550 staff and volunteers at Cox's Bazar—home to nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees—in Bangladesh, Humanity & Inclusion teams launched emergency plans.

HI volunteers evacuate an elderly person in a chair rigged to a bamboo pole

© HI

A Category 4 storm, Cyclone Mocha would be the most powerful to hit Bangladesh since 1991. It made landfall Sunday, bringing with it strong winds, heavy rains and the potential for landslides.

"Once, I lost everything to a massive act of violence. Once again, we will have to leave our homes. When would life have mercy on us," asks Setara, a Rohingya refugee living in Cox's Bazar. She shared with HI volunteers that she did not want to leave her shelter despite the cyclone's threat.

Teams of HI volunteers helped families, children and people with disabilities evacuate to safe shelters. They also went door-to-door to people who do not want to leave their homes, raising awareness on safety measures that can be taken before, during and after the storm.

“Our volunteers are engaged in evacuation, especially for persons with disabilities," explains Farhana Akhtar, HI Project Manager. "The challenge we are facing is that people are not really willing to go to a safe place for now."

HI's warehouses are stocked with emergency supplies—such as hygiene kits, shelter kits, wheelchairs and crutches—for distribution once the storm passes.

“Our warehouse is prepared for safeguarding the stocks," says Dipak Gomez, HI's Atlas Logistics Manager. "We are preparing our support to Save the Children and other NGOs for transportation of early recovery items to the camps."

Date published: 15/05/23


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