A new start to life

Abeda Begum’s husband died four years ago. Since then, she and her two daughters were living on her meagre income. She was working hard in her little shop to be able to pay for her daughters’ school expenses.

In July 2019, heavy rain caused intense flooding across Northern Bangladesh, where Abeda lives. Nearly 7.6 million people were affected by the flooding, which was most severe in the District of Jamalpur.

The rising waters forced families to abandon their homes and live in temporary shelters. Thousands of acres of crops were damaged, and wells and sanitation facilities were inundated or destroyed.

The flooding washed away Abeda’s belongings and damaged her home. She was forced onto the roadside with her daughters and spent days living in fear for their safety. Abeda says she was anxious, and tired.

Islamic Relief Canada had teams in Jamalpur, responding to the needs of people displaced by the flooding. Abeda received a cash grant, hygiene supplies, and quick-growing vegetable seeds. Islamic Relief also built washroom facilities in her home.

After the floodwaters receded, the support she received enabled her to “build back better.” She used the cash grant to renovate her store and bought two goats as an alternative livelihood source. Her oldest daughter helps out with the garden and Abeda sells the surplus. The latrine and hygiene supplies are ensuring proper sanitation and better health.

“I was lost, I didn’t have any idea how to get back a life with my daughters. I had to go through misery,” says Abeda. “But this life-saving aid has given me a brand new start to life and now I am happy for my daughters.”