Emergency Support for Seasonal Flood in Bangladesh

August 29, 2011 by

Incessant monsoon rain in Bangladesh since late July has resulted in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, the Ganges-Padma and the Meghna to flow over the danger levels. Three southwestern coastal districts of Bangladesh, namely Satkhira, Khulna and Jessore, are the worst hit, with severe water logging (source: http://www.lcgbangladesh.org/DERweb/Monsoon_2011/NGO/Oxfam_SitRep_01_Bangladesh_flood%20and_waterlogging_120811%20%282%29.pdf). Reports suggest that it will take time for the water to subside. The flood and water-logging has taken a toll – resulting in the loss of lives, damage to crops and homes, death of livestock, lack of jobs for day labourers and severe crisis of clean water and sanitation facilities due to submerged tube-wells and latrines. People have taken shelter on the roads and embankments and inside school rooms.

In response to the situation, in an emergency meeting held on August 25 by BRAC’s Executive Director, a decision was been taken to provide short-term relief support (for 3-4 days) to the worst affected regions of Tala and Shatkhira Shadar to around 2,000 households (about 10,000 people) through BRAC’s Disaster, Environment and Climate Change (DECC) programme.

Relief packages for each family include Water Purifying Tablets, Oral Saline, Rice (kg), Potato (3kg), Lentils (2kg), Oil (1litre), Salt (1kg), match and candles and 6 packets of biscuits for children. According to BRAC’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme cluster groups, which act as community watchdogs and first responders, the sanitation facilities in Tala and Shatkhira are competely damaged and more than 190,000 people are living under the open sky with no access to clean water and sanitation facilities. The WASH programme will provide latrines in these areas on an emergency basis.

An emergency committee of senior staff members from the head office as well as relevant local offices has been formed by BRAC. Staff from various BRAC programmes have been deployed on an emergency basis in the affected region.

Preparation and procurement of relief materials was underway by August 25 and distribution began on August 27. BRAC staff are visiting households with relief materials in the most remote and inaccessible areas that are not covered by other organisations. The list will be shared with other local and administrative bodies to avoid duplication and ensure a fair distribution.