A RESTAURANT owner is appealing for Cestrians to support his native Bangladesh after a devastating cyclone killed thousands and levelled the homes of those left behind.
Shams Uddin Ahmed MBE, of Mickle Trafford, is asking for donations to the ‘Bangladesh Disaster Appeal Fund’ to help rebuild and repair houses as well as supplying emergency food and medical supplies.
At least 3,500 people died and an estimated two million were made homeless after Cyclone Sidr hit coastal areas with winds of up to 240km/h (150mph) and a tidal surge of several metres.
It brought down power lines and wiped out vital crops.
Bangladeshi-born Mr Ahmed, who runs the Country Spice restaurant in Hope, has lived in Britain for the past 50 years. He was in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on a business trip when the cyclone hit early last month.
Situated inland, Dhaka was less seriously affected than the south but several people died and the city was left without water and electricity supplies for 36 hours.
Mr Ahmed said: “The fishermen saw their houses, their nets and their boats destroyed. More than 10,000 may be dead and some areas have not been reached yet so the death toll could rise. Waterborne diseases have already started to spread, including malaria and cholera.
Mr Ahmed said it costs £300 to build a house, £200 to repair a house and £150 to install a village well to ensure water supplies.
Southern Bangladesh is often hit by cyclones, but experts say the latest one is a category-four storm – the most powerful to hit the country in more than a decade.
Mr Ahmed believes the severity of the cyclone which devastated Bangladesh may be due to global warming.
Mr Ahmed is holding a fundraising evening at his restaurant in Hawarden Road, Hope, on Tuesday, December 11, with the price of all meals bought donated to the appeal fund. To book call 01978 762 330.
Cheques made payable to ‘Bangladesh Disaster Appeal Fund’ can be sent to the Royal Bank of Scotland, 15 Foregate Street, Chester, quoting account number: 10214230, sort code: 16-16-14.