Here is another update from our grassroots partners as they start to focus more intensively on relief and rehabilitation work.
Update from Chetana Sangha:
Lockdown has prevented farmers from getting seeds for the coming season. The farmers had no way of selling their produce, which demoralized them; they decided not to plant for the next season. Our partner Chetana Sangha has been encouraging farmers to start planting so that the villages are food secure and when the markets open, the farmers will be able to sell their produce.
Chetana will start pumping out saline water from some of the ponds in Purba Dwarikapur from tomorrow.
Our partners BTS distributed tarpaulins and dry food in Bhubaneshwari and Deulbari villages of Baikanthapur Gram Panchayat. They report that several villages in Patharpratima block are still unreachable by phone.
AID has partnered with BTS for the last decade and has been working in 24 villages in 8 Gram Panchayats.
Update from Mukti:
Our long time partner MUKTI is focusing on mid term and long term projects in the area of seeds, nursery, tree plantation and housing rebuild and repair.
Nursery and paddy seedlings: The next steps are to 1) procure saline water tolerant paddy seed from various seed collectors and experts. 2) Develop paddy beejtola (nurseries) on higher grounds where the water has already receded. Plant paddy saplings in 45 days. 3) Work with farmers to rebuild flower patch and fruit plantations. 4) Women self help groups to work on nurseries and generate income. Start small vegetable patches where soil is not completely ruined.
Income generation and food for work program: Mukti is focusing on various ways to create jobs and earning opportunities for the local people who lost livelihoods under COVID lockdown and others who have lost everything to the cyclone. It is forming a team of masonry workers and carpenters who will work on house and roof repair and paid partly by Mukti and the rest by house owners.
Food for work: employ men and women to repair patches of river embankment and compensate them by meals.
Long term plan: Work with the forest department to rebuild wild forests, wind forests (mangrove) for storm protection and civil forests – replant fruit and other shed trees in the neighborhood. This is an urgent need as Sundarbans has lost 70 to 80% of trees in Cyclone Amphan.AID Responds to Amphan Donate to Amphan Relief Fund