Thursday, 7 July, 2022

Nor’wester victims also deserve help

Nor’westers, the summer storms in Bangladesh are no less damaging in nature. These seasonal storms, accompanied by heavy rain, thunder and very often hailstorms, leave trails of damage and destruction in the regions those sweep over. The Saturday nor’wester that swept over different parts of the country left at least five persons dead and several others injured. As is usually the case, the storm damaged houses and standing crops ready to be harvested, uprooted trees and also snapped power connection. These short duration storms rendered many families homeless.

But because of the localised nature of the nor’westers, much attention is not paid to the task of rehabilitating the affected people. Loss of lives and property, especially damage of crops, may lead to pauperisation of the poorer sections of the victims, who may find it difficult to overcome the damages. What is usually meant by disaster preparedness in our society is remaining ready to rescue and rehabilitate victims of cyclones and long term floods and help them overcome setbacks. But it is not normally the case with respect to summer storm victims. It is hardly heard that relief operations have been conducted to help people affected by nor’westers to recuperate losses.

Cyclones and floods normally have large scale damaging effect over vast regions and on large segments of the population. So preparedness against these calamities is fully justified and necessary. But there is hardly any reason to neglect the problem created by calamities like nor’westers. Victims of summer storms should also be brought within the purview of relief and rehabilitation programmes of the government.

Another aspect of nor’wester should also be taken into consideration. Though cyclones and floods may cause damage and destruction much wider in scale and scope, those may not occur every year; but summer storms with trails of damages in every summer are almost unavoidable. So authorities should remain prepared with means and materials to rush to the spots of nor’westers and extend necessary help to victims.