Slave labour & death
All of you will have heard of the tragic collapse of a 9 storey clothing factory in Savar, Bangladesh - Wednesday morning, 24 April. Despite a 'structural crack' appearing the day before, the 3000 workers (mostly women) were coerced back inside. The building suddenly collapsed, trapping people between pan-caked floors. Who's to blame? Poverty, greed, corruption and a patronistic culture allowing powerful people to bypass rules and standards by paying bribes. The stories and pictures have been heart wrenching. There is an expectation (from ourselves and the watching world) that we should do something to help. However, many of us find it difficult to give useful assistance during the frequent Bangladesh disasters such as floods, ferry sinkings, cyclones, building collapses and factory fires. Professional Bangladeshi organisations related to search and rescue (army, civil defence, fire brigade, navy in the case of ferry disasters, specific NGOs) and medical assistance (Drs, hospitals, ambulance services) rapidly respond as they should do. At the time of writing this, 17 days after the building collapse, the death toll is 1117 and still rising, as bodies are recovered.
The following summary report was published in the Baptist in November 2012, and presented to the annual Baptist Assembly
BANZAid currently has 2 active projects and one in the planning and design stage.
Chandpur TCDC Project. This flagship project is now in its fourth year. The project works in 12 villages around the Chandpur district of Bangladesh with a programme of children's education and adult groups with training for income generating activities, primary health care and other activities. Due to changes in NZ Government funding priorities, their support for the project will end in March 2014. BANZAid has to consider alternative funding to enable the project to continue. Currently BANZAid has to raise donations of $33,000 per year.
Tropical Cyclone Evan ripped through Samoa and Fiji causing extensive damage to houses and property. Some of the reports coming out of Samoa indicate that more houses have been destroyed than in the 2009 tsunami. The good news has been that considering the force of the winds and the floods that have followed there have not been more deaths. Still there are many who are facing a very grim Christmas this year.
BANZAid does not have any current work in Samoa or Fiji, so we will partner with TEAR Fund NZ in their response in Samoa and Fiji. Donations can be made through our Donations page (please include "Donation to cyclone Evan response Samoa/Fiji" in the comments box) or through the tranzsend National Office will be directed to the TEAR Fund projects.
See reports on the cyclone here: