The worst floods in South Asia since 1988 have submerged over half of Bangladesh’s districts and claimed around 600 lives. Around four million people have been displaced, and tens of thousands left homeless, without food or shelter.
Flood waters have swept across the north-east, north-west and central regions, bringing chaos to the lives of an estimated 20 million people.
Almost half of the capital city, Dhaka, is now under water. Road, rail and air links between Dhaka and the flooded areas have also been cut off, hampering access to the disaster victims.
The heavy rains have caused rivers to burst their banks, washing away hundreds of straw and bamboo homes and triggering deadly landslides in many affected areas.
This is the second flood to hit the area in as many months, and water levels in some areas have begun to overtake those of the historic 1988 disaster.
Stranded families in remote areas have no access to food, drinking water or adequate shelter. With the collapse of sewage systems and lack of safe drinking water diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and malaria are on the increase.
In Sylhet and Sunamganj districts an estimated 40-80% of rice crops have been destroyed, spelling disaster for farming families who depend upon agriculture for their livelihoods. With over two months of monsoon rains remaining, there are fears that the worst is yet to come.
Stranded families in remote areas have no access to food, drinking water or adequate shelter
Islamic Relief Action
Islamic Relief’s Bangladesh office despatched emergency teams to the affected areas of Sylhet and Rangpur. The teams quickly assessed the needs of the populations and launched rescue and relief operations. Relief distributions so far have included:
- drinking water
- Oral Rehydration Salts to treat diarrhoea
- water purification tablets
Islamic Relief has also teamed up with the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide:
- High Energy Biscuits (a nutritional supplement) to around 10,000 families
Islamic Relief (IR) is planning to set up a temporary emergency office in Sylhet to help the five worst-affected districts in the area with further food distributions. IR also plans to help support the livelihoods of poor farmers by supplying vegetable and rice seeds for next year’s harvest, and assist in house reconstruction efforts.
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