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Construction of High School cum Cyclone Shelter at Mirzaganj

Background and Objectives


Southern districts of Bangladesh were severely hit by the powerful Cyclone Sidr on 15th November. More than 9 million people were affected with a death toll of around 4,000 people, rendered millions homeless. It has also damaged basic services such as water and sanitation due to physical destruction as well as contamination by salt water, exposing affected populations to serious health risks. An estimated 563,000 houses were destroyed and further 955,000 were damaged. According to the needs assessment by the education cluster, an estimated 2,240 school/college buildings were totally destroyed and an additional 11,490 partially damaged in the affected districts.
Building on the existing partnership between UN-Habitat and BASF, the BASF Social Foundation agreed to support Cyclone affected communities by constructing community shelter/school buildings in Bangladesh.


The overall goal of the UN-HABITAT projects for the Cyclone Sidr affected areas in Bangladesh is to promote resilient communities and settlements adaptation to climate change. The proposed project objective is to promote through demonstration the use of school buildings as multipurpose cyclone shelters. The proposed project will replace a school with the following results:
-Restore education of school children,
-Provide better educational establishment,
-Save lives in future disasters.


The high school with 1,200 students serves the surrounding the population which is approximately 65,000. The school was established in 1934 and is quite renowned for its meritorious students who are well placed at home and abroad. There is one small cyclone shelter built in one corner of the school compound which can accommodate about 300 persons only and in normal times serves as residence of the headmaster. The rest of the school complex consists of single storied semi-pucca school rooms with brick walls and CI sheet roofs. The older part of the school built in the period between 1934 - 1970 is very old and dilapidated. Portion of it is in such bad conditions that use of these areas are suspended as there is a risk of the roof collapsing at any time.

Results (2009)

The design of a new school building was completed and the construction started. The community has taken the lead in this process assisted by UN-HABITAT technical staff. Completion is expected in the first quarter of 2010.

Development Partners / Partners

Development Partners: BASF Social Foundation
Partners: Mirzaganj Upazila

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