Flooding puts 4mn at risk | 2019-07-20

Flooding puts 4mn at risk

Staff Correspondent

19th July, 2019 10:51:44 printer

Flooding puts 4mn at risk

Flood victims take shelter on the roofs of their submerged houses at a village in Kurigram’s Chilmari upazila where overall flood situation remained unchanged. The snap was taken on Friday. — Star Mail photo

Days of severe rains have battered the northern and the southeastern parts of Bangladesh, putting more than 4 million people at risk of food insecurity and disease.    

Floods and landslides have damaged roads and vital infrastructure leaving hundreds of thousands stranded and without electricity.

More than 66,000 homes have been destroyed. Food and clean water shortages are being reported, as well as a rise in waterborne diseases, said a statement of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“These communities are reeling under the full force of the monsoon rains and the ensuing floods and landslides. Even if the rains recede, overflowing rivers upstream will worsen the flooding in the coming days,” said Azmat Ulla, head of IFRC's Bangladesh office.

There are fears that destruction of crops may lead to food shortages with children, breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, and the elderly being identified as most vulnerable.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society accordingly mobilised 675 volunteers to support communities in the flood-affected districts.

In addition to carrying out rapid assessments, teams are distributing food, clean water, hygiene kits and tarpaulins to families whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the landslides.

IFRC has also disbursed 452,439 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund that will allow the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to provide food, relief items and cash for 10,000 of the most affected families living in the worst hit districts.

However, acute suffering visited upon the people as flood situation continued to deteriorate on Thursday in a number of northern districts starting from Naogaon, Gaibandha, Sherpur, and Kurigram, down to Manikganj, Sirajganj and Faridpur.

In Naogaon, at least ten new villages in Atrai Upazila were flooded here on Thursday to add to another 20 flooded earlier in Koshba and Bishnupur nunions, leaving 50,000 people stranded in the area. Atrai River was flowing 90cm above the danger level.

Embankment at Koshba, Bishnupur and Hatkalupara unions were flooded. On the other hand 30 points including Jotbazar, Bandubi, Bagatipara, Goalmanda, Kalikapur, Dariapur Beribadh and Khudiadanga were identified as risky.

In Gaibandha, the normal life came to a grinding halt after the district town went under water on Thursday evening. The town was inundated after gushing water breached 20 points of the city embankment, said Roksana Begum, the acting deputy commissioner of the district. At the confluence of the Jamuna and Brahmaputra rivers, the water was flowing nearly six feet (191cm) above the danger level at Fulchhari point, said Mokhlesur Rahman, executive engineer of the Water Development Board.