The floodwater seems to follow Parul Akter wherever she goes. After she was forced to move into a slum in the capital, Dhaka, her life took a turn for the worst. The shack meters away from a lake which she shares with her four children and husband is submerged whenever it rains with only the bed remaining above water. But, Parul and her family have nowhere else to go. Her village was destroyed by the merciless river seven years ago. Parul and her family were thus forced to look for livelihood in Dhaka. However, her life in Dhaka has been filled with desperation even without the flood waters dictating her fate. Neither her village swallowed by the floods or her shanty in the midst of a forgotten slum stricken by poverty has been able to provide refuge for Parul and her family.
Bangladesh has been considered as the ground zero for climate change and also one of the very first countries to discover that natural elements can create refugees just like war. The monsoons of 2017 brought on floods significantly worse than most years with almost a third of Bangladesh being submerged by water. This is the reason why we as a group feel compelled to do our very best to fight the effects of climate change in our country. Therefore, our commitment directly confronts climate change and climate change refugees.
Our Commitment and breakdown of expenses:
Our commitment, named Prottasha (প্রত্যাশা) means the omnipotence of hope in a trying situation is very much relevant to the scene in Bangladesh. Our mission is to create a rehabilitation center dedicated to these individuals and help navigate their lives towards self sustainability.
However, there is no official database of climate change refugees living in Dhaka so we plan to begin our endeavour by partaking in a survey, identifying these individuals and then offering them rehabilitation. The survey will cost approximately $1200.
Prottasha plans on creating a refuge for these individuals. In order to do that we will need to buy about 0.3 acres of land and build a rehabilitation center. This would cost approximately $18,500.
In order to provide these individuals with training and education (basic primary education, computer skills and technical skills), we will need approximately $5,300 which will enable them to stand on their own feet. Employments could range from driving taxis to security guard jobs etc. based on the skills we will provide them with.
However, our main emphasis would be to turn these individuals into entrepreneurs by helping them get access to microcredit loans to create a sustainable future for them. To ensure that they are eligible to apply for such loans in future, we would incur approximately $1000.
Therefore, in total, we will incur $26,000.
It would take approximately six months to connect three climate refugees to local businesses or prepare documents for micro credit loans, etc. Hence, in two years, we will be able to serve approximately 6 families (assumption of 2 adults/family).