In the Alley of Disaster


“I headed to the flood affected area of Shatkhira when all those villages were under water within three days & out of communication. Evidentially when I reached to Shamnagar sun was setting down. I was surviving in a boat & could not see surface to stand a while. With the drowning sun the village was drowning under water. People were sheltered above in roofs of their houses. Moaning of old people & shouts of children were making the atmosphere miserable. When I reached to the house of Khadeza Begum I closed my eyes. It took two years to rebuild the house of Khadeza after selling all her cattle as well taking huge loans after Aila attack in 2009. I was standing in front of her ruined house. The house which has been rebuilt these two years by the bravery of Khadeza. I could not answer when she was hitting me by asking why I come to take photo of her ruined house again after Aila. No one come to ask them ever how they are fighting against the will of nature. She cursed all those happy people who seat silent after hearing their news”

- Gmb Akash

In all places water & the destruction of water could experience in flood affected areas of Shatkhira. Inhabitants are collecting water after walking 3 Km. as all tube well are under water & badly affected by salt. After facing devastating flood every year, they are fighting to live apart loosing shelter for existing. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

After Aila attack it has been two years Khadeza Begum sold her cattle & everything to rebuild her only shelter. Now it is another nightmare for her to stay under this destroyed house. She has no idea how she will manage to pay back all her loans, besides passing nights in this smashed house with her husband. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

In 2009 Aila attacked Shatkhira area, after two years when that pain has not forgotten this place again faced the ferocious attack of flood. While in these two years affected people managed to build their destroyed home but again flood has taken last hope from them. Over four lakh people of 160 villages were marooned after the striking of flood in this 2011. Crops on several thousand acres land; thousands of dwelling houses, schools, mosques, markets and ponds were inundated. Shrimps in over 2,000 shrimp enclosures were washed away. Families lost everything & staying night without roofs in wild weather. No humanitarian support has been provided to the people in the most affected districts within the affected time of  13 days.

People are helpless after five days water blockage. The lady is going for fishing. While in these two years Aila affected people managed to rebuild their destroyed home , again this flood has taken every hope from them. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

It takes one year to Nobab Ali for building his house after Aila attack. Again flood hits on his all effort & left him in the flooded street. After all these devastation he is trying to get some materials from the ruined house for covering his head in the road. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

People were suffering like prisoner of devastating water kingdom.Helplessness & shouts  are not getting into ears of rest of the people around the world & surroundings. Still they were fighting to live. They were collecting all destroyed pieces of house to shed their head. Women went to water for fishing. They were healing pain of each other set aside from the remaining world.

All tubewell of villages goes under water. Everywhere there is only water but there is no water for drinking. Still inhabitants are trying to get salt water for drinking. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

After the flood in Shatkhira, all ladies are moving for dry places by carrying their belongings. Families lost everything, passing nights without roofs in wild weather. In such a situation open air in field of water can not accommodate them for healing pains. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

People are moving to the city by vans even all roads went under water because of devastating flood in Shatkhira area. In 2009 Aila attacked Shatkhira, after two years when the pain has not forgotten this place again faced the ferocious attack of flood. Leaving behind everything they are moving to the city. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

The lady is going inside her house. The flood has broken all her hope to pass a single night in serenity . © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Hunger, helplessness & calamity force them to the city. City welcomes them to face the uncertainty of living for their entire life time. Rootless people suffer here & there. Their tears evaporated by thirsty street of Dhaka. 

Climate forces Jahangir to move to the city with his family. Now this Mirpur slum is his identity. Water crisis as well accommodation problem hitting their everyday life . His wife like him are suffering everyday for taking bath in this nearly open bathroom by sharing  with more than 300 slum dwellers. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

Hosna comes with her two children from Jamalpur. Her husband left his family after loosing everything in devastating flood. She came in this plastic shelter three years ago. This street houses does not provide any toilet. By not having any window she manages to placed everything of her family in six feet by six residences. In these three years she managed to gather many things which she packed in bags. With all these things she dreams to go back to her village one day. © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

After discovering the insanity of nature & bravery of these sufferers I realize these people are stronger to rule their own live. If these brave people could get support of a shoulder to cry, rest of us could claim us as “Human”. I recall the statement from Helen Keller & focus my lens to capture some brave moment.

 “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do”- Helen Keller

Homeless people float near in the street of the city. By few road sides families are allowed to build their homes. Still climate refugees can not gather enough wasted digital prints, papers & bamboo for making plastic houses. Those who can not manage helplessly sleeps in open air by not letting the place empty. Everyday they collect papers for dwelling beside street.

© GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com

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6 thoughts on “In the Alley of Disaster

  1. Excellent coverage n very evocative captures dat can take anybody back to da scene ! Da spirit of dese brave people is
    shining out from each n every pictures being captured. I still remember Cyclone Aila n it’s really sad to see dat da affected people r still struggling in order to rebuild deir lives. I wonder wat our government is really doing in order to support dese people in need. Its a shame dat da damaged embankments r still in da process of reconstruction due to inadequate resources. We shud really put our hands together to support dese people in every possible way ):

    • Thanks Hook. Its about their incredible smile, their extraordinary ability to overcome difficulties and their flamboyant humanity. It’s been a journey that portrays not just people, but the varied and undeserved circumstances they are in – a battle that is fought in large part, with little more than a fleeting smile.

  2. I can’t begin to imagine the complete and utter hopelessness and helplessness they must feel at losing everything twice in 2 years. It must be devastating to the spirit, and yet they must find the strength to go on….to endure yet again, to begin yet again. It seems their choices are few, and none any better than another, but still they struggle on, with dignity and hope and a resilience that is incredible to see.
    I love the quote from Helen Keller……Akash, you are doing a wonderful thing by documenting the plight of these poor people, and sharing your touching images with the world. Thank you once again for opening our eyes.

    • yes, my friend, I try to listen to their silent voices, in absolute solitude and silence,for I am sure I shall be able to hear their unbearable wounds in which they stumbled upon alone years after years. So I take out my camera, go inside the place and merged with their pain

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