School and cyclone shelter, all under one roof
Gone are the days of despair for students of Bogachotor Government Primary School. Yesterday, they moved from their earthen classrooms with tin-shed roofs to a three-story building -- a move that brought smiles on the faces of little ones.
For years, students like Tasmin Akhter dealt with unbearable summer heat and inundated classrooms during monsoon in the makeshift structures which they called school. But those struggles are officially a thing of the past.
Tasmin, a fifth grader, couldn't contain her joy. "We won't have to suffer in the heat anymore," she said. "And rainy days won't disrupt our studies."
The new building represents more than just brick and mortar. It will also serve as a shelter during natural disasters like cyclones.
Reed Aeschliman, mission director of USAID, and Md Kamrul Hasan, secretary of the ministry of disaster management, jointly inaugurated the new multi-purpose disaster shelter and school building in Cox's Bazar.
The new facility is one of 25 multi-purpose disaster shelters built in Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts under a $13 million USAID-funded project implemented by CARE Bangladesh, Save the Children, GRAUS, and local construction partners.
The three-storied shelter can protect up to 500 people during cyclones, floods and other disasters. The shelter also features a first aid room with a hospital bed, a wheelchair-accessible ramp, shower facilities, a tube well and rainwater harvesting system, and generates backup electricity via solar power.
The additional 25 facilities built under this newest phase of construction will provide emergency shelter for over 11,500 people and accommodate a total of 3,500 students.
The classrooms are equipped with modern furniture and amenities to enhance the learning experience for students, and the shelter will also function as a vaccination centre and provide other local government extension services.