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Floods Hit 3 Million People in Bangladesh

07-19-2019 08:51 AM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: Friendship

The floods in Bangladesh this year are at the extreme, affecting over 3 million people.

The floods in Bangladesh this year are at the extreme, affecting over 3 million people.

Thirty people have died and more than three million marooned or displaced in floods sweeping through 21 out of 64 districts in Bangladesh. Emergency support needed:

As waters continue to rise in many districts, experts fear this could be one of the worst floods to have hit the country in recent years.

The northern district of Kurigram, where the Brahmaputra river enters the country from India, is the worst hit, with 600,000 people affected. Here trained volunteers from the community have been desperately trying to ferry people from inundated river islands to safety.

“The floods this year are extreme, having affected millions of people in less than a fortnight,” said Kazi Amdadul Haque, head of disaster management at Friendship, an NGO that trains volunteers for disaster response. Almost 6500 people, along with their livestock are being sheltered at Friendship’s plinths, which are clusters of homes raised above the flood levels so as to act as shelters.

“The main challenge caused by floods usually has to do with time; either the flood lasts so long it causes a scarcity in food and supplies, or it comes on suddenly, leaving farmers unable to save their crops and livestock in time. This time the challenge is its sheer magnitude,” said Haque.

Heavy rainfall over the last month has caused the embankments to crack in both districts, allowing floodwaters into the district city of Gaibandha and other mainland areas in the north.

Earlier this week, some 15 people were reported to have been killed by flooding upstream in the Indian district of Assam. Experts are fearing the worst as the water comes downstream over the next few days. Executive Engineer of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of the Water Development Board Md. Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said water of the Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Padma rivers is likely to rise as waters flow down from the upstream.

“10 years ago, food was the first need for flood victims,” said Runa Khan, founder of Friendship. “Today due to the interventions from various organizations, people have learned to save money and dry food stocks through their community savings model. The overall resilience and preparedness are much better than in decades past, when tens of thousands of deaths were very sadly, common.”

Friendship NGO
Ka-14/2A Baridhara North Road, Kalachandpur
Baridhara North Road, Dhaka 1212
Phone: +88 02 8417733-39

Friendship is a non-government organization (NGO) that is being recognized for its holistic and innovative approaches combating poverty in Bangladesh’s most remote and vulnerable regions, such as the chars of northern Bangladesh and the coastal belts of southern Bangladesh. It was founded in 2002 with the vision of carrying healthcare to the ultra-poor in the remote communities of the rivers of Bangladesh.

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