“Last week, I visited Tandahara, one of the coastal villages, where OSVSWA, my host organization, works. It lies on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, with the population of 650 people.
Due to its geographical location, the area is prone to floods and hurricanes. Local community members walked me and the team through the embankment and highlighted the increasing issue of coastal erosion and the impact of past floods. The embankment has been partly damaged and during monsoon the settlements are flooded 1-2 times per month.
The recurring floods have pushed the settlements further inland and have challenged cultivation practices. The monsoon floods and hurricanes increase the vulnerability of the communities already experiencing everyday risks – scarcity of clean drinking water, reliance on rice crop, as well as lack of sanitation, waste management and health facilities.
Members of the community were very welcoming and have shared their past experiences of hazards with us – Super Cyclone 1999 and Cyclone Phailin 2013. Being on the field has enabled me to better understand the social vulnerabilities and everyday hardships locals face. Our aim at OSVSWA is to build community resilience to everyday risks, slow and sudden onset disasters.”