Bithun has over eight years of experience working in the development field, most of which is in the sectors of humanitarian response, and integrated development. She is passionate about capturing learnings directly from the ground to catalyse quick actions to assist populations in distress. Bithun has worked with flood, flash flood, cyclone, earthquake, tsunami as well as man-made disaster affected communities. Her role throughout the years was always focused on communications, knowledge management and programme design. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from North South University, and a master’s degree from Independent University, Bangladesh in floodplain disaster management.
Humanitarian workers in Bangladesh have been delivering life-saving services, specifically to women and children during some of the worst humanitarian crises, including the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Super Cyclone Amphan, the flash floods in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
On this year’s World Humanitarian Day, we bring the stories of some humanitarians who are going the extra mile to help those who need it the most.
If a cyclone hit, how should we react? Who will evacuate to cyclone shelters first? What will happen to livestock? BRAC’s cyclone simulation helps answer these questions well in advance to prepare for when disaster strikes.
In the coming years, countries and communities will bear the brunt of climate change. Future projections of the rise in temperature and sea level along with increase in natural disasters are feared. However, we tend to forget that it is the future generation who will have to live through these consequences. It is widely asserted that the poor, in particular children, will be most affected – greater physical exposure to natural hazards and increased risks of health being two of the main reasons.
During the summer and monsoon seasons, Bangladesh is prone to nor’westers, floods, tidal surges, cyclones, and tornados. These can be extremely destructive and therefore preparedness is crucial for risk reduction. Understanding this, BRAC has been addressing disaster preparedness in several ways within its programmes. Here’s how.
This winter, BRAC reached out to distribute over 100,000 blankets and warm clothes all over Bangladesh. Lives are lost every year in the country due to the cold spell that affects the poor and homeless who cannot afford warm clothing and appropriate housing. The Give Warmth This Winter campaign was launched in December 2014 with the aim to effectively ensure that warmth reaches those who are in need.
Shukla Pal is one of many shasthya kormis (health workers) of BRAC who received organisational training to serve her community against the risks of natural disaster. A head of the household, a mother and a grandmother, almost 60 years of age, she knows the importance of standard first aid practices required to attend casualties amongst her fellow villagers.