Morsheda is a young mother of four living in Bangladesh. She has no land, few assets and no savings.
For Morsheda’s family living on low-lying islands in the Brahmaputra River, floods are a terrifying part of everyday life. Morsheda can’t even count on having a safe place to call home: the single-room, corrugated-iron house she shares with her children has been flooded four times.
‘I feel very scared of the river. When I look at it I keep thinking “it is coming”.’
Dangers all around
One year, her humble house filled up to her knees with floodwater. To stay dry, and keep away from the dangerous snakes that now swam through her home she raised her bed up on bricks. But during the night she was woken by a loud splash. In the pitch black, her baby son had fallen into the inky water. He could have drowned in moments.
Race against time
In a bad year, huge waves crashed against her house, giving her less than an hour to uproot her home and scramble to safety. Racing against time, she gathered her terrified children together and hastily made a raft from a banana tree.
At any moment, it could have tipped and plunged them into the swirling waters, but it was their only hope. She put her youngest daughter in a cooking pot and clung to it as it floated in the current.
‘My children were so scared. My sister was holding them very tightly and we were panicking because my neighbour’s child was washed away.’
The floods are coming
Morsheda and her children live a precarious life. They know that the floods will come again, and soon. But we can lift our neighbours like Morsheda to safety.
Just £250 is enough for a Christian Aid Home Safety Package. It could flood-proof Morsheda’s home, raising it eight foot on an earth plinth, so that she has a safe place to rebuild, keep livestock and grow crops. It could also buy a goat, seeds and a wormery to help produce compost – all of which will give her a long-term income and a solid foundation for a new life.
‘If I could raise my house then I would feel much safer living here with my children.’