The horrifying cyclone Amphan has wreaked havoc all across West Bengal. Numerous people have been affected by it. A catastrophe of this scale has never been witnessed before. Cyclone Amphan made its landfall in West Bengal between Digha and Hatiya on the afternoon of 20th May 20, as a very severe cyclonic storm with sustained wind speeds of 155-165 kilometers per hour spiraling up to 185 kilometers per hour. While most districts of West Bengal are impacted, the Sundarbans region is the worst hit because it is an ecologically fragile zone. The region is yet to recover from the damage caused by cyclones Aila, Fani and Bulbul in the past.
Two days after the tragedy Mukti Volunteers started their relief work all across Sunderban. Apart from human and livestock casualties, the cyclone has caused severe contamination to drinking water which the villages used to collect from nearby ponds. High waves flooded their lands which caused the pond water to get contaminated.
The water is unfavorable to use. The saline water has changed the whole ecosystem of the ponds resulting in deaths of fishes and phytoplankton. With this, the storm ridden fallen leaves and garbage has rotten the water. Pisciculture (fish farming) has become an impossible task for coming one to two years.
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60- 75% of these ponds have now turned to be useless to the villagers. Most affected areas are G- Plot and Raidighi.
Mukti volunteers stretched their helping hands to the villagers. They are refilling the ponds with freshwater and planting phytoplankton. The survival of the freshwater fishes depends on this plankton and act as a driving force to keep the ecosystem stable. These are the initial tasks they are working on. Though these planktons grow naturally but to ensure the survival of these planktons Mukti volunteers are also providing cows dung, lime etc. Where the saline water has not caused that much of havoc, villagers can farm fishes like Tilapia, Parse, Bhagon etc. as these fishes can survive in mix water.
Mukti is trying heart and soul to restore the ecosystem as that has a direct impact on the livelihood of the villagers and their lives.