CINI operates in a disaster-prone region characterised by wetlands, seasonal flooding and frequent cyclones. Poor children and women are the most vulnerable to climate change and environmental risks. The gains made with great efforts to improve health and nutrition status among marginalised communities may be wiped out overnight when a disaster strikes. The likely long-term implications of climate change on childhood survival, nutrition and development are still to be estimated in our intervention area.
Several decades of work rooted in local communities have earned CINI enough trust from the government and civil society to make it a primary partner during times of emergency. When cyclone Aila hit West Bengal in May 2009, it destroyed homes, crops and livestock. CINI’s relief efforts were concentrated on Moipith Island, a remote area of the Sunderbans region. Between May and August 2009, water purifying tablets were provided to 20,000 people; 3000 people were fed by community kitchens and sheeting was provided to build shelters for 1000 people.
CINI has also been working with communities to prepare them for emergencies caused by annual flooding in a project funded by UNICEF Kolkata, and local governments.