The Sundarbans is the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest and a designated world heritage site. Shared by Bangladesh and India, it is home to some of the world’s most endangered species. Millions of people depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihood by catching fish, crabs, cutting wood, farming and collecting precious honey. This unique ecosystem is under threat due to the rise in global temperature and population pressure resulting in high vulnerability to floods, embankment erosion, and frequent devastating cyclones. Furthermore, due to high poverty incidence, the villagers are unable to recover their unbearable losses of food, livelihood and shelter in short time and extinction of endangered species and plantations. Sabuj Sangha has experience in handling this kind of disasters because the organization started its journey from this very place.
Since the beginning Sabuj Sangha started working with relief and rehabilitation with through volunteerism. Since last decades, almost in every alternative year, devastated cyclones hit the Sundarbans region and resulted in extensive damage to Sundarbans already struggling coastal communities. This is the very reason why this vulnerable communities needs humanitarian support according to their needs Sabuj Sangha acts as a catalyst to provide them food support, nutrition support etc. as per need. Sabuj Sangha further took the initiative and made a dedicated a rapid response and rehabilitation unit to provide immediate support and intervention to the vulnerable people in need.
In 2009, the devastating cyclone Aila hit the region, creating extensive damage. The crisis of water, diminishing soil fertility are few of the long lasting impacts created by the cyclone. Subsequently, since 2019, Sundarbans has faced continuous devastations from Bulbul, Fani, Amphan and Yaas cyclones. The rapid riverbank erosion disrupting their regular activities accompanied by destruction of houses has only added to their misery. Their suffering increases as they have a very poor understanding of their risks and poor early warning systems.
The severe effects of the pandemic was also felt in the slum pockets of the cities of Kolkata and Bidhannagar, especially the daily wage earners, migrant labourers, etc were affected the most. Many lost their roof and were homeless and vulnerable in no time in the period of deadly pandemic.