Bangladesh is home to 158 million people and is one of the world’s poorest countries. Around 75% of the population live in rural areas. Many rivers and the huge Ganges Delta make overland travel difficult. The need to alternate between land and waterborne forms of transport makes journeys incredibly time-consuming.
The 8,000km of rivers that cover a third of the country are also a major barrier to the country’s development. In addition, most of the land is just metres above sea level. During the monsoon season (June to October), rivers routinely flood and cut-off large areas from outside help.
By operating an amphibious aircraft, large expanses of water can be transformed from being a hindrance into a useable asset. The amphibious C208 is able to land on water sites in many of the least accessible areas with dramatic results: journeys that can take 1 to 2 days by land can be covered in around 1 hour by air.
The time saved enables NGOs to easily access remote areas to run and monitor projects efficiently. A number of medical projects, including four floating hospitals, depend upon MAF flights to transport medical supplies, volunteer doctors and surgeons, saving them valuable time and increasing the number of operations they perform.
Doctors with non-government organisations such as Friendship fly regularly to its three floating hospitals that provide medical care for marginalised communities living along the riverbank.
When cyclone Mahasen struck in 2013, we enabled UN OHCA, World Food Programme, and Care International to carry out aerial surveys to assess the best way to help those affected.
'MAF is giving a good service to the country, and is very important – especially in times of disaster.'Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Head of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster