Cyclone Mocha

HEKS/EPER mobilises to help the most vulnerable in refugee camps in Bangladesh

On 14 May 2023, the strongest cyclone in a decade hit the shores of Bangladesh and Myanmar, two of the countries where HEKS/EPER is operating. Cyclone Mocha, Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, arrived in Bangladesh with winds reaching 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour). The Rohingya refugee camps, where HEKS/EPER is working to maintain refugees’ shelters, were in its path. 

“We reacted as soon as the government announced the arrival of the cyclone and created a task force,” explains Shah Liton, head of HEKS/EPER’s humanitarian aid programme at Cox’s Bazar. “The team immediately contacted some fifty community volunteers who work with us in the refugee camps, and a group of around 100 people that we recently created for disaster response activities. This rapid response was greatly assisted through the use of our WhatsApp groups.”
HEKS mobilisierte, um in den Flüchtlingscamps das Schlimmste zu verhindern
Fatima-Tuj- Johor


In the days leading up to the arrival of the cyclone, HEKS/EPER provided equipment and helped the people in the camps reinforce their shelters, specifically by placing netting over their roofs and fixing it to the ground. Our staff warned the people in the camps and provided information that would allow them to reduce the impact of the cyclone on their shelters and safety. In addition to the task force created for the refugee camps, HEKS/EPER is also in close contact with the health authorities in the region so that it can take action if health facilities are impacted by the cyclone.

Repairing homes

The damage caused to the camps at Cox’s Bazar was fortunately not as severe as was feared. Even so, over 100 shelters were damaged. “All of our teams are standing ready at our warehouses to distribute materials and help the people in camps reinforce their shelters. To ensure that every emergency can be responded to, we have rented additional vehicles,” explains Shah Liton.

Clarification of the ongoing situation in Myanmar


However, the cyclone hit the coast of Myanmar with far greater intensity. The local HEKS/EPER team is currently shedding light on the situation. “Since the announcement of the cyclone’s arrival, we have been in contact with the authorities and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) so that immediate action can be taken for victims of the cyclone,” reports Julien Brewster, HEKS/EPER country director for Myanmar and Cambodia. “We are working closely with our partners, including the ACT Alliance in Shan State in the south, which suffered heavy rain and severe flooding. In some of these regions, many people were already in a vulnerable position due to the civil war and the population displacement and may need assistance.”


Thanks to the HEKS/EPER teams on the ground, we are able to provide rapid and effective assistance during disasters like Cyclone Mocha. Your donations allow us to continue to assist the people affected in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Samuel Berner
Head of Media and Information Department
Samuel Berner

Phone: +41 44 360 88 25
Mobile: +41 76 461 88 70

Your donations allow us to continue to assist the people affected in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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