Flood victims in solidarity

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Despite being badly hit by the devastating Boxing Day floods, churches in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd have put their losses behind them to support vulnerable families in Northern Bangladesh during this year’s Christian Aid Week.

The show of solidarity in the week, May 15-21, follows a visit from a member of Christian Aid’s local partner organisation in Bangladesh, Abdus Salam, who was in the UK at the end of the February.

Stuart Greenwood, Christian Aid Week organiser, of Streamside Fold, Mytholmroyd, had to move out of his home for four months following the Boxing Day floods.

He said: “We experienced the devastating effects of flooding at Christmas and our community is still deeply impacted. We had the support of family, our community and our insurance company. When Salam visited us he told us about the impact of flooding on families in northern Bangladesh. There is no comparison between what we experienced and the flooding in northern Bangladesh that destroys everything families have.

“This Christian Aid Week we are raising money to help families like this, because they are far worse off than us”.

Mr Salam, who leads the charity’s Bangladeshi partner Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK), spoke at a series of events across northern England, highlighting the effects of climate change in Bangladesh and comparing how the UK dealt with recent floods to the situation in the South Asian country.

GUK provides earth plinths that raise homes 6-8 feet above water, creating a safe place for families to rebuild their home and keep livestock safe. They are also supporting families by introducing them to new seeds for the changing environment, so they can grow essential crops.

Salam said: “When I visited the flood affected areas of UK I felt sorrow because I didn’t understand flooding in the UK before. I am not an expert on climate change, but from my experience we can say that rise of flooding and other disasters is as a result of climate change. Every year we face flood disasters in the northern part of Bangladesh, but there is a big difference between these two floods. You know when we have flooding in Bangladesh, we lose everything.” Donate online at www.caweek.org calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘SAFE’ to 70040 to give £5.