10 July 2012
Torrential monsoon rains in Bangladesh have resulted in flash floods and landslides. Christian Aid has released £50,000 to support the work of partners in two regions of Bangladesh, who are dealing with the impact of the massive floods.
In the last days of June, monsoon floods swept through a number of districts at either end of the country. In the south east, current reports suggest that 121 people have been killed and 800 injured.
The most affected union in this region is the Ramu area of Cox’s Bazaar, where 450,000 out of a total population of 500,000 are severely affected. A thousand acres of seasonal crops have been destroyed, with fish hatcheries and poultry farms also devastated.
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North west Bangladesh
In the north west of Bangladesh, it is estimated that one million people are marooned by floodwater. Most of the rivers in the area are flowing dangerously high, with the water damaging houses, villages and farmland.
In total, across both areas, around 54,000 households are said to be displaced. Families are taking temporary shelter in school buildings and on roadsides.
People are struggling to feed their families more than once or twice a day, and collecting safe drinking water is also presenting a massive challenge.
Because of the sudden and heavy rainfall and rush of water from higher ground, families did not have enough time to prepare and save household goods or store food.
Needs of the people
Shelter and housing
Most of the flood-affected areas are made up of homesteads constructed with mud. Many have been completely damaged and destroyed. Those staying out on the road side continue to experience significant suffering.
Water and food
There is a scarcity of drinking water, food and fuel, and conditions for children and people living with disabilities is particularly harsh.
Crops, vegetables and fish
Swaths of crops and vegetables and totally damaged in affected areas. Fish have been swept away by the surging floodwaters, and small farmer are now in dire straits. It is highly likely that they will face nutritional and financial crises in weeks to come.
Health and sanitation
Many of the latrines and tube wells are damaged in the flood affected areas. Health risks are high, with people resorting to drinking river water and defecating in open places. There is the possibility that diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and dysentery may spread.
Christian Aid responds
Christian Aid’s partner GUK has a strong presence in the north west districts, with experience in helping communities respond to emergencies such as the recent cyclones Sidr and Aila.
In the south east, partner Agrajatta currently works in two of the affected districts, Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong.
Our partners are responding to flood-affected families with food parcels (ready to eat food/dry food items, including rice, lentils, oil, salt and sugar) and household items, including plastic sheets, soap and oral rehydration salts.
Floods in India
The situation is also dire for communities in the Assam region of India, where families are experiencing similar conditions. Christian Aid is working with ACT Alliance to see how we can support people in this region, where Christian Aid does not currently have partners.
Pray for those affected
Our Creator and Provider
As the floods have swept through Bangladesh
We pray for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
Protect them as the rains fall
Shelter them as they seek refuge
Give peace as the storm continues to rage
And bring light into the darkness of loss and pain.
May we be your hands on the ground
Generous in compassion and support
That the lives of these communities may find safety and care.
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