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Prosperity project logo with PKSF, UK aid and EU logo
 September 2020 

Dear reader,
The Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People (PPEPP), aka the Prosperity programme has started emergency cash transfer for some of its most vulnerable participants in the piloting areas. Most of these extreme poor households are experiencing food insecurity as their income depleted due to irregular income opportunities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, cyclone Amphan and the recent flood. The emergency cash support, which aims to ease the sufferings of the extreme poor households, comes right after we completed the free potable water distribution in Satkhira for Amphan-affected households covered under the programme.
In addition, many of our participants are now engaged in various nutrition-sensitive livelihood activities, including homestead vegetable and fruits gardening, small scale poultry farming, fish farming and some non-farm livelihood activities. Many of them have already become members of the newly formed Prosperity village committee, youth forum, and adolescent girls club and started working for community development.
This issue highlights all these and much more. Happy reading!


Sincerely,
AQM Golam Mawla
Deputy Managing Director, PKSF
Project Director, Prosperity, PKSF

Prosperity participants start Livelihoods activities

The Prosperity programme is implementing six broader activities under the Livelihoods component. They include financial service, capacity development, technical service, livelihood, and enterprise development, market expansion, and disaster and climate resilience building.
As part of this, participants in piloting areas have started receiving nutrition-sensitive agriculture, livestock and fisheries services along with a number of off-farm services under its Livelihoods component to the participants in the piloting areas.
The participants are engaged mostly in broiler and native poultry rearing, pigeon rearing, fish farming in ditch method, high-value fish farming in tanks, fish farming in floating enclosures, combined fish farming in the coastal belt and crab fattening activities.
The programme has already trained the selected households on agriculture, livestock and fish farming and the related technology, depending on their capacity and availability of assets.
In the meantime, participants in some areas have started producing handicraft and clothing items after skills training by the Prosperity programme.
The interventions are expected to meet the extreme poor households’ needs for nutrition in addition to selling the produce for commercial purposes.

Distribution of potable water ends successfully

The potable water distribution for some of the worst Amphan survivors in Satkhira ended successfully last month.
Prosperity partner Nowabenki Gonomukhi Foundation (NGF) carried out the distribution activities among the EP households in Gabura and Anulia unions, since June 20, 2020. These two unions are among the worst-hit areas where people suffered from cyclone Amphan, flooding related to high tide and salinity. Consequently, food and water crisis were acute even two months after the Cyclone Amphan devastated the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
In response, the Prosperity project extended supply of potable water to 86,227 extremely poor households of these two unions and distributed around 9.62 lakh litres of water, following the COVID-19 health safety protocols.
Cyclone Amphan had left a trail of destruction in the southern coastal belt of Bangladesh where the poverty rate is already high.


Some 4.88 lakh litres of potable water has been distributed, among 40,637 households from 244 different distribution points in Anulia union. Meanwhile, in Gabura union, around 4.74 lakh litres of safe drinking water has been distributed among 45,590 households from 240 distribution points.

Prosperity project starts emergency cash transfer for extreme poor people

The Pathways to Prosperity programme started the process of transferring emergency cash to some 32,000 extreme poor households in the programme area, who are now facing food shortages and shortage of other basic needs due to irregularities in livelihoods and fall in income resulting from to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the flood situation.
In the initial phase from 31 August 2020 to 5 September, 766 EP HHs received BDT 500 each on a pilot basis, which was done to test the veracity of the transfer mechanism.
Under the Emergency Assistance Programme (EAP), all the selected extreme poor households of 17 piloting unions in 10 districts will receive a monthly sum of BDT 3,000 for three consecutive months. However, considering the vulnerability of the households, the assistance period might be extended further.
To ensure transparency, the cash will be transferred directly to the participants using Mobile Financing Services (MFS) such as bKash, Rocket, Nagad and similar other agent banking services available in Bangladesh. Participants will require to have their own MFS accounts to receive cash assistance.

Earlier in May 2020, the Project Implementation Unit at the PKSF conducted a qualitative study to look into the coping mechanism of the EP HHs. The qualitative study on randomly selected households found many of them lost their income and were experiencing food shortage since the nationwide general holidays declared by the Government began on 26 March to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.


Inclusion of intersectional groups: Sohagh's story can lead the way


Aamkhola in Patuakhali district is one of the hard-to-reach and underdeveloped villages in southern Bangladesh. Things have improved in recent years, but about two decades ago, there was little awareness about equal rights regardless of gender identity.
A large number of the community people lived below the poverty line, struggling to earn a living. Sohagh was born in one such family as a third-gender person about 25 years ago. Despite their financial hardship, Sohagh’s parents visited many doctors and quacks, hoping to do something about the physical condition of their first child. But to no avail.
The community people would look down upon not only Sohagh, but also Sohagh’s parents for giving birth to a third-gender child. Because of the different physical condition, children of similar age would avoid Sohagh and poke fun at the “abnormality”. Worried that other children in school would do the same, Sohagh’s parents decided to keep Sohagh away from school. Instead, they sent Sohagh to work as a day-labourer in nearby farmlands.
While other kids were having all the fun and learning to read and write, Sohagh shut himself from the outside world, and had little interaction with the community people.
All that changed last month when the Community Mobilisation team under the Prosperity programme approached Sohagh’s parents for Sohagh’s inclusion in a youth forum. Despite initial refusal, they later allowed Sohagh to join the forum after project officials explained how the Prosperity programme is working for inclusion of different intersectional groups in its activities.
After the first challenge had been overcome, there was a second challenge for the project officials. Although the 24 other members of the forum – 12 boys and 12 girls – had completed primary education and some of them completed their SSC and HSC, Sohagh was unable to even write his name.
The Community Mobilisation team of CODEC, a partner organisation of PKSF, then took it upon itself to teach Sohagh how to write the word “Sohagh.” After two hours’ of efforts, Sohagh was able to write it in large, clear letters on a whiteboard in the CODEC office.
“I am very happy to have learned to write my own name. This is a great joy. I would now like to learn to write the names of my parents and siblings,” Sohagh said, smiling shyly.

Flood situation in Prosperity working areas

The recent flash flood has inundated many unions in Satkhira district. Settlements, agricultural land, vegetation and aquaculture were flooded by the tidal wave. People are now facing a crisis of safe drinking water and suffering from water-borne diseases. Many have taken shelter on the boat and lost their means of livelihoods.

Photogallery

Top: Members of the newly-formed Prosperity Disability Forum aim to bring change in their lives and livelihoods. Left in the second row: The extreme poor household selection process of the main phase continues using the PEPIT method. Right in the second row: A household census being conducted at a primarily selected extreme poor household. Bottom: Members of a youth forum are displaying a wall magazine.
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