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September 17, 2020

A Glimpse of Ghagra Union and their relief situation in April 2020

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SHOUHARDO III program is working in Hossenpur village from 2016, which is under Ghagra union of Mithamoin Upazila, Kishoreganj Zila. With the facilitation of program, the community formed a Village Development Committee (VDC), Community Groups (CG) (one male and two female), two VSLAs, all of which are functioning at the moment.

Masud Mia, the President of VDC, is a poor farmer and a small shop owner, where he sells fertilizer and pesticides. His life was not so bad before COVID-19 pandemic. To know the condition in these areas, on 26 April’20, I made a phone call to Masud. We spoke for a while as I wanted to hear the overall situation of the area. Masud said, the villagers are locked down and the income sources are hampered. Most of the men are passing their time at home and women are struggling to prepare food for all members of the family. We also talked about relief during the pandemic. Masud shared, “Local Upazila Parishad (UP) member name Zillur Rahman (ward # 8) provided a package (consisting 10 KG of rice, 2 KG of potato and 1 KG of peas) among 15 households, unfortunately, my family didn’t get it. This package was given only for those, who are Rickshaw/Van pullers.” The UP is preparing another list to provide another round of relief to poor families. Masud requested the UP to include him and other poor families like his and they agreed.

Same day (26.04.20), I also called to Mizan, son of CG-18+female Group Leader to have an insight about his surroundings. He shared that they didn’t receive any relief either. Mizan has four other siblings and parents, with a total family member of seven, it is very challenging to continue the family expenditure in this crisis period.

I have talked with Rozina who lives in Bairati Moddha Para of the same union- Ghagra. She is the President of VDC in her union. She shared, “We didn’t receive any assistance from UP or any others so far. Last week UP member Mr. Roisuddin took my ID Card. They are preparing a list for relief but didn’t discuss the size and types as of yet.”

In this connection, I have also talked with Kabir Hossain, Group Leader of 18+ male CG. He mentioned that they didn’t receive anything but heard that UP member is preparing a list.
I also talked about the Boro Harvesting status of the area and he said half of the paddy was already harvested and rest will be completed by 10 of May, 20. If any natural disaster occurs then Boro harvesting will be done by themselves. As they are poor farmers, additional labor was not required and they prefer to do it on their own.

Written by Tamiz Uddin Ahmed, Senior Technical Manager-Governance, SHOUHARDO III, CARE Bangladesh