Flood fury sweeps 18 dists

Govt battles worst flood in decade

The government has made various plans to provide assistance to flood victims, and tackle water-borne diseases facing flood-hit people as one- third of Bangladesh is under water now.

Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) officials have said that a third of the country is under water after some of the heaviest rainfalls in a decade.

FFWC chief, Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan said, “About a third of flood-prone Bangladesh was under water, and at least 1.5 million people had been affected, with homes and roads in villages flooded. This is going to be the worst flood in a decade.”

Eighteen districts have been inundated and floods coupled with the coronavirus aggression left thousands of people affected. Cyclone shelters and other shelters have been set up in flood-hit areas. The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry warned that 23 districts would be affected by the floods.

The monsoon is active over Bangladesh and moderate over the North Bay. This is likely to bring light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions, and over Rajshahi and Dhaka divisions, which will worsen the flood situation in the country.

Suraiya Begum, a day labourer from Sunamganj said, "We've taken shelter beside a road and we're out of work."

"Our children are with us and we can't get a square meal. We don't have anything good to eat. You cannot imagine how we are going through this," she added.

Alom Hossain, a resident of Kurigram Sadar upazila, said more than half of the flood control dams had been washed away by the Dharla river. If the dam breaks, thousands of people in 50 villages along the river will suffer more. The local residents have left their homes and gone to various cyclone shelters with their cattle. The floods have caused severe damage to various standing crops, including vegetables.

Meanwhile, waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid have been reported in many places. The government is providing medicines and safe water to combat water-borne diseases.

According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, from July 1 to July 13, 8,210 tonnes of rice, Tk 2,82,50,000, 74,000 packets of dry food, Tk 48 lakh cow-feed and Tk 48 lakh baby food have been allocated in the flood-hit districts.

A letter has been sent to the deputy commissioners concerned on July 10 to help the flood-hit people. Besides, a letter has been sent to the agriculture officials to send a list estimating the amount of damage to crops, fish farms and other crops due to the floods.

An official from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief said 50,000 water purification tablets had been sent to the flood-hit districts. Three mobile water treatment plants with a capacity of 2,000 liters have been sent to each district. Necessary spare parts for tube well repair have been provided. Soap, hand sanitizer and bleaching powder have also been sent. Goods have been sent to sink 200 new tube-wells in each flood-hit district. 200 temporary toilets have been constructed. One thousand tube well disinfection items have been sent.

The State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Md Enamur Rahman said, “The government is on the side of the people in this time of floods. As per the demand of the deputy commissioners, adequate relief assistance and cash has been provided across the country.”

However, many houses in the flood-hit areas have been damaged, roads have been submerged and communication is disrupted. There is a lack of clean water in these areas. River erosion continues in different areas to add to the woes of the people.

According to the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), this second wave of flood this season may last at a stretch till the end of July and it could prolong into the next month too on the basis of rainfall with water levels of major rivers remaining above danger marks.

According to the special flood report on 16 July by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), a total of 2,246,472 people in 18 districts are affected so far by this fresh flood, it also reported death if six people. A total of 1,086 flood shelters have been opened in 18 districts and 55,930 people have taken refuge there.

Meanwhile, the flood in Bangladesh has caused the death of 8 people so far. The State Minister said on Thursday that flood has affected more than 2.2 million people in 18 districts of Bangladesh.

Speaking at a virtual press conference from his office in Dhaka on Thursday, the Minister said the government has opened 1544 flood shelters in 12 worst-hit districts where more than 20,000 people and 56,000 animals have taken shelter. Medical teams, police and volunteers are working among the flood affected people.

According to the FFWC forecast, the flood situation will improve in Sylhet, Sunamganj and Kurigram districts in the next 24 hours. Of the 101 stations monitored in the country by the FFWC, water levels increased at 55 stations, decreased at 45 stations and remained stable at one station.