This has been one of the most difficult Eids that our people have seen in decades. The whole world, even developed countries, have faced the struggle between containing another outbreak of infection and crippling their economies. But in Bangladesh, not only do we have these two threats, but another, equally formidable terror: climatic disasters.
The super cyclone Amphan swept into West Bengal and Bangladesh from the Bay of Bengal less than a week before the annual Eid festival, ravaging homes and livelihoods. In Bangladesh, some 2.4 million people were evacuated. Due to the number of people in shelters, social distancing was mostly impossible.
For the coastal communities, the decision to abandon their homes, and oftentimes their livestock, assets and livelihoods and go to a shelter is a very difficult one. I have seen devastating storms where men would send their families to shelters, and stay back to secure their homes. They risk their lives in 3-metre tidal surges and 140 km/hour gales rather than lose the security of their few assets. And yet, this time 2.4 million people have been forced to evacuate.