Imagine waking in the middle of the night to the sound of water rushing into your home. Your feet, ankles, legs are suddenly enveloped in water – and the water level is still rising.

This is what happened to Bizli the night that flooding hit her village in Bangladesh.

Before that night, life was peaceful for Bizli and her family. Their village is home to a community of fishermen who have a simple and happy existence along the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

Torrential rains

In July and August 2017, torrential rains and floodwater from upstream caused widespread flooding, and rapid river bank erosion, destroying the homes, land and livelihoods of those living along the riverbank.

At first Bizli didn’t know what to do, the fear was paralysing. But as the water continued to rush in, she knew she couldn’t ignore it. Feeling very frightened, Bizli woke her family and managed to get them out of the house.

In no time the water level had risen to shoulder height, but by a stroke of luck Bizli and her family were spotted and rescued by a neighbour in their boat.

Nothing left

The family was left with nothing – their home and all their possessions were completely washed away. Even the land their home was built on collapsed into the river.

Bizli and her family have since been staying in the cramped house of another family living in the community. The overcrowded conditions and reality of sharing a small house with another family create a sharp contrast to the peaceful life Bizli’s family used to live.

On the ground

ShelterBox is responding to the devastating floods in Garuhara and other affected communities in the Kurigram region, helping more families in the same situation as Bizli.

Flooding in Northern Bangladesh has been widespread. At its worst, more than a third of the land was submerged. More than 70,000 homes have been completely destroyed, and 500,000 are partially damaged.

Working with the Bangladesh Red Crescent and Rotary, ShelterBox is providing 3,000 families with tarpaulins, mosquito nets and solar lights to help those that have lost everything, so families can get on the road to self-recovery.

Your support helps us to reach people like Bizli 365 days of the year.

Right now, there are many more families who have lost everything. Your support can help give them comfort and security in their darkest hour.