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As Cyclone Fani ripped across Bangladesh, I feared for the children who are terrified of rain.

More children die from unclean water after a disaster than in the disaster itself.

Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh is the largest refugee settlement in the world. Over one million Rohingya children and families are forced to live in flimsy shelters built on mud and sand. Homes made from bamboo and tarpaulins are not strong enough to withstand strong rains let alone cyclones.

As Cyclone Fani ripped across Bangladesh, I feared for the children who are terrified of rain.

Less than a year ago I met eight year old Halima and her mother. They were living at the top of a  steep hill, with a squat toilet precariously jutting out over the edge. Like many families, they had few possessions and were often hungry and soaked right through.

Halima, age 8 is one of the Rohingya children at risk to unsafe water.

On May 4, Cyclone Fani caused widespread havoc. Shelters were ripped from their muddy foundations. Children who had already suffered so much, lost what little they had. But it’s not over yet.

More children die from unclean water after a disaster than in the disaster itself.

Put simply – dirty water kills kids. Nearly 1,000 children under five die every day from unsafe water.

When refugee camps flood, it’s nature’s bitter irony that there is very little to drink. Many children have no option but to drink dirty water as previously clean water sources are polluted. Deadly waterborne diseases like cholera spread – children are the most vulnerable.

Rain can be deadly for children and families in Cox's Bazar - capable of causing floods, landslides and outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

For many children like Halima who are forced to live in precarious conditions, diarrhoea can be deadly. Children with fragile immune systems can’t fight diarrhoeal diseases and become thin and weak.

Clean water is vital. Before, during and after emergencies, UNICEF is committed to ensuring that every child can access clean water. Diarrhoea is the leading killer of children worldwide, and it is a completely preventable disease.

UNICEF has prepositioned emergency life-saving supplies.

Within 48 hours, we can dispatch supplies anywhere in the world from our warehouse. Water purification tablets and sanitation kits are essential for communities bracing for disasters.

We cannot be complacent. Monsoon season is rapidly approaching, bringing more violent storms and more damage. Will Halima’s squat toilet still be at the top of her hill now? Will Halima have access to clean water or will she have to continue to fight for survival?  

Please help us protect children just like Halmia.
Just $48 will help change children’s lives with clean water.
Donate now.