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Cyclone-affected aquaculture in Bangladesh promptly restored

Pond dyke damaged by tidal surge in Bangladesh. Photo by WorldFish, 2008.

In November 2007, Cyclone Sidr hit the southern coastal districts of Bangladesh, taking 3,000 lives and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and destitute. In response, WorldFish led a project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, to reestablish and enhance the productive capacity of affected fish, shrimp and prawn farms. By partnering with 15 nongovernmental organizations, WorldFish supported the efforts of 46,500 aquaculture households toward restoring their productive potential. The households targeted were the poorest, those headed by women and those most dependent on aquaculture. To get most fish farms up and running in the next aquaculture cycle, the project supplied starter packs consisting of fish fry, prawn and/or shrimp post-larvae and pond management ingredients including lime and fertilizer.

To improve post-disaster intervention strategies, analysis of affected farmers’ coping strategies and agency delivery was undertaken. This provided clearer understanding of how institutional support mechanisms, assets, livelihoods, the magnitude of damage and the coping ability of disaster victims jointly affected farms’ recovery of productive capacity. The study identified a number of potential improvements to reduce risk and build resilience, which will strengthen aquaculture’s contribution to rehabilitating communities affected by disasters. A study of the approaches used by 11 partner nongovernmental organizations determined best practices for post-disaster intervention and developed a tool for selecting partners and identifying specific areas for capacity building during implementation.

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