Bangladesh: Food, water concerns as flood damage continues

More than a dozen people died since the monsoon began last week

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Published: Mon 20 Jun 2022, 10:51 AM

Floods in Bangladesh continue to wreak havoc on Monday, with authorities struggling to ferry drinking water and dry food to flood shelters across the country’s vast northern and north eastern regions, officials and local media said.

More than a dozen people died across the country since the monsoon began last week, authorities said. The government called in soldiers on Friday to help evacuate people.

Local media also said that millions remained without electricity.

Enamur Rahman, Junior Minister for Disaster and Relief, said that up to 100,000 people have been evacuated in the worst-hit Sunamganj and Sylhet districts, and about 4 million people have been marooned in the area, the United News of Bangladesh agency said.

Media reports said those affected by flooding in remote areas are struggling to access drinking water and food.

Arinjoy Dhar, a senior director of the nonprofit developmental organization BRAC, asked for help ensuring food for the flood-affected in a video posted online.

Dhar said they opened a center Monday to prepare food items as part of a plan to feed 5,000 families in Sunamganj district, but the arrangement was not enough.

BRAC said they alone were trying to reach out to about 52,000 families with emergency supplies.

The latest floods have devastated Bangladesh since Friday amid heavy monsoon rains, just as the country began recovering from a flash flood.

In the latest statement on Sunday from the country’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre in the nation’s capital, Dhaka, said that flooding in the north eastern districts of Sunamganj and Sylhet could worsen further in next 24 hours. It said the Teesta, a major river in the northern Bangladesh, may flow above danger. The situation could also deteriorate in the country’s northern districts of Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Jamalpur and Sirajganj, it said.

Officials said water has started receding already from the north eastern region but it is posing a threat the country’s central region, the pathway for flood waters to reach the Bay of Bengal in the south.

Last month, a pre-monsoon flash flood triggered by a rush of water from upstream in India’s northeastern states hit Bangladesh’s northern and northeastern regions, destroying crops and damaging homes and roads.

Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, is low-lying and faces threats from natural disasters such as floods and cyclones, made worse by climate change. According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, about 17 per cent of people in Bangladesh would need to be relocated over the next decade or so if global warming persists at the present rate.


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