Amphan: Repair embankments, provide food, save lives

This is a continuation of our regular update (for June 12-14) on the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the people of the Sunderbans in collaboration with AID’s grassroots partners.

Mukti, our grassroots partner, has been working on rehabilitating livelihoods in the areas affected by Cyclone Amphan. Under its Food for Work program, Mukti is now supporting 834 workers who are working on embankment repairs under the MGNREGA.


BTS (Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha), continuing its relief efforts in Patharpratima and Kultali, has managed to provide food packets to 400 people using funds from local Kolkata-based groups. From June 13th, they will begin desalinating 40 ponds located in the villages of Bhagabatpur, Haldarbari, Hashchora, and Nogendabad. The pond owners have agreed to allow their neighbours to use their ponds, with 10-12 families using one pond on average. BTS has selected some ponds in the aforementioned areas for desalination, which will then serve as examples for the local gram panchayat to follow suit in desalinating the remaining ponds.

On Monday and Tuesday (June 15th and 16th), BTS will start planting Dhainche (Sesbania) in the area: these are saline-tolerant nitrogen-fixing plants which are mixed with the soil after 40 days of growth to increase the soil’s organic content. They are working on obtaining these saline-resistant seeds for paddy. While they wait for these seeds, they will distribute the ones they have in stock to the farmers soon. Moreover, GPS mapping work is also in progress in these areas 

Update, June 13th: Some self-help groups, with the help of BTS, have made and sold 600 masks to the local cooperative for Rs. 13,800. Four ponds in Kultali have been dewatered, and BTS plans to dewater 17 ponds in Banshyamnagar and K-plot.
Ground updates from Chetana Sangha for the period June 11th to 12th
June 11th: Chetana bought seeds worth Rs. 41,000 and distributed them to farmers in the region. They have completed dewatering 8 ponds in Lakshmipur and 33 ponds in Kuemuri.
June 12th:
Chetana has distributed Chuun and Phitkiri (lime and alum for cleaning ponds) to 47 families in the village of Laxminarayanpur, and has given coupons to obtain lime and alum to 65 families in Herambagopalpur. In total, they have distributed Chuun and Phitkiri to 235 families in the area.
They have collected information from 46 families about the damage done by the cyclone: they report that 32 houses, 39 ponds, 44 vegetable crops, and 9 paan chaas have been affected. Chetana has completed the cleaning/dewatering of 3 ponds in the area. Continuing their rehabilitation efforts, they have distributed seeds to 1005 people, tarpaulin to 240 people, food to 406 families, vegetables to 243 families, food items to 21 quarantine centers, and tiffin to 420 river-bed labourers.
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