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Walking the path of death in Bangladesh

  • Story Highlights
  • Many parts of Bangladesh still cut off from aid after devastating cyclone
  • Some regions so remote that the use of satellite phones is near impossible
  • Buried bodies line pathways, some corpses barely covered with leaves
  • Some villagers have not eaten for days, either through lack of food or grief
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From CNN's Cal Perry
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(CNN) -- First we took a speedboat, then motorbikes, flying through the jungle at astonishing speed - avoiding limbs, branches and other debris. Once the jungle was too thick to continue, we carried forward on foot.

Children play in the same water from which bodies are retrieved, a nightmare scenario for aid organizations.

Mounds of dirt lined the path, recently buried bodies, the soil still fresh, some barely covered with leaves. The government has not been here yet, nor have any aid organizations. People are truly desperate. Some have had no food for days. Others are too stricken with grief to eat at all.

Before we get there, we hear the wailing and cries of Mujibar Praham, a farmer who is burying his six-year-old daughter -- in his own field.

His story is truly heart wrenching, every parent's worst nightmare.

"My daughter, wife and I were clinging to a tree," he says. "We were all holding hands, but a gust of wind came, and swept my daughter from my arms. We are now helpless," he tells me. "There is no communication. Nobody has come here... Nobody has come..."

We are desperate to get his words out to the world, but this is a place where there are no communication lines, where cell phones no longer work and where even satellite phones find it difficult to get a signal.

So up a tree I climb -- and with villagers starring blankly at me I report what I've seen. People should know: The death we're seeing is overwhelming. The world needs to know how the other half lives.

As we continue forward we see dead animals floating along riverbanks. From there it only gets worse. A body is spotted floating in the water, decomposing past the point of identification. The villagers can't even tell us who it is -- they themselves don't know. He's slowly fished out of the water, one more grave to be dug, a body to be covered with shallow dirt.

Nearby children play in the same water, a nightmare scenario for aid organizations who fear the coming story in Bangladesh will be disease, with the potential to kill more people than the storm itself.


The faces of the children tell this story: They'll never forget what they have seen. Rotting bodies, barely covered graves -- and a farmer burying his own daughter in the very place he grows his crops.

This is a place where people are truly blessed, and cursed, by the water they live in. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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