Natural disasters — particularly tropical cyclones, tornadoes, storm surges and flooding — occur frequently in Bangladesh. With changing weather patterns, these disasters are predicted to become both more frequent and more intense. During the past century, over 400 tropical cyclones have struck Bangladesh's coast, causing widespread devastation and death.
Earlier this year, Cyclone Mohasen hit Bangladesh, forcing thousands of people into emergency accommodation, causing flooding and crop devastation, and destroying many coastal homes and roads. But, because of the efforts of the government, NGOs and international development partners, better cyclone preparations meant far fewer people died than in previous years.
Naimul Haq travelled 380 kilometres south of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, to visit villages that were severely affected by the cyclone, and to look at efforts made to prepare for natural disasters and, in their aftermath, to rebuild lives and livelihoods.
'I have seen many people in our village die in previous cyclones,' says one villager. 'But a well-planned evacuation and proper shelter have saved many lives this time.'