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Keighley support aids vicitms of floods
A Lawkholme man has been supporting people hit by devastating floods and landslides earlier this summer.
Abdul Ahad, 30, went to Bangladesh for eight days on behalf of the Al-Imdaad Foundation UK charity. The body was launched in Keighley in December 2010 and is part of a larger international charity with offices across the world.
Mr Ahad, a civil servant, said thousands of people were left without food and shelter following the natural disasters which struck parts of eastern Bangladesh at the end of June.
He said that at least 131 people died when houses collapsed and roads were flooded. Another 100,000 people were left homeless.
Al-Imdaad Foundation UK has since been working with its South African and Australian branches to assess the most affected districts.
Mr Ahad went to Bangladesh’s Sunamganj district to implement a flood relief and food aid programme. He said the initiative was backed with fundraising by Keighley volunteers.
He said: “We had to abandon our vehicles and travel by boat to reach this very remote village because the floods had damaged the roads. We were the first humanitarian organisation working in the area.
“The scorching heat and the arduous journey didn’t deter us. We were determined to travel to this village as we heard reports that no aid had reached it. We gave out food packages containing items such as rice, lentils, chick peas, dates, sugar, oil and dry milk powder.
“We provided food to last families of six for the whole month of Ramadan and Eid, so they could enjoy this occasion and would have enough food with which to break their fasts.”
He said the overall programme was extremely successful and benefited thousands of people.
He said: “We were accompanied by the district police commissioner at each of our distribution sites, along with other politicians and community leaders.
“They all made positive remarks about our work. In return I gave them the good news that the foundation was in Bangladesh to stay, and will continue helping the poor and needy.
“I also told them that we will start planning medium to long-term projects such as income- generating schemes and eye-cataract operations.
“In November we will be carrying out winter blanket distributions, which will benefit more than 25,000 people across Bangladesh.”