Monday, December 1, 2008

Core Shelter Handing Over Ceremony of the Cyclone Sidr Rehabilitation Project

DHAKA, 29 November 2008 – Habitat for Humanity International - Bangladesh held a Core Shelter Handing Over Ceremony of the Cyclone Sidr Rehabilitation Project (CSRP) at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

The ceremony marked the official handing over of 480 transitional shelters and 480 sanitary latrines for victims of Cyclone Sidr in Bakerganj and Mirzaganj in southern Bangladesh.

The Chief Guest for the ceremony was Mr Sayed Ershad Ahmed, President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). AmCham have long been a supporter of Habitat Bangladesh and welcomed the opportunity to play a role on this important occasion. Habitat Bangladesh used the ceremony as an opportunity to thank its donors for the duration of the project. Donors included Christian Aid Ministries, Chevron Bangladesh and UNICEF.

During his speech, Mr Ershad Ahmed said, “I feel proud that Chevron Bangladesh and other individual donors from Bangladesh came forward generously and chose a trustworthy organization, such as Habitat for Humanity International, that was focused on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Sidr affected families.”
Chevron Bangladesh is HFHI-B’s longest running corporate donor. Mr Naser Ahmed, Director of External Affairs of Chevron, spoke proudly of the partnership between HFHI-B and Chevron. “It is great for us to have an opportunity to give back to the community through our CSR partnership with Habitat Bangladesh. As we have heard from the beneficiaries today, Cyclone Sidr caused an enormous amount of damage, and every shelter makes a difference.”

A number of other dignitaries spoke during the ceremony, including the Guest of Honor, Mr B.M.M Mozharul Huq, Advisor of the Humanitarian Response Team (HRT) of the Disaster Management Cluster of UNDP, and the chair of the Shelter Working Group. Special Guest, Mr Regis Garandeau, Consultant of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene from UNICEF, HFHI-B’s newest partner. Mr Shah Muhammad Nasim, Deputy Secretary from the NGO Affairs Bureau, Mr M.K. Aaref, HFHI-B National Board representative, Mr Arnold Eby, Bangladesh Coordinator of Christian Aid Ministries, Mr Md. Abul Bashar, Project Manager of CSRP, Ms Kelly Koch, National Director, HFHI-B, and finally, three homeowners who shared their stories among the guests.
The ceremony provided a perfect platform for HFHI-B to showcase the success of the CSRP to the business and NGO communities in Bangladesh. As Kelly Koch, National Director of HFHI-B said ““The impact of Habitat’s work has been great to these families who otherwise would today still be left in inadequate shelter or worse yet, homeless – vulnerable to the multitude of effects resulting from inadequate housing as well as future severe weather conditions.”
If the success of the CSRP is any indication, Habitat Bangladesh can expect to continue to forge fruitful partnerships into the future.

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