Seasonal floods triggered by monsoon rains and mountain torrents have affected over five million people in northern and central Bangladesh during the past month.
Receding rivers caused fresh havoc, triggering widespread mudslides. Local officials say the death toll has reached 195, with at least one million people forced to abandon their homes and farms.
As water levels in the Brahmaputra River began to fall this week, thousands of mud-walled homes were swept away in the currents. Water-borne diseases have also been on the rise as rivers receded across much of north Bangladesh. Village link roads have been damaged or cut off paralysing communications.
Bangladesh is criss-crossed by over 230 rivers which flood and ravage the country almost every year.
Marooned and Homeless
Displaced people sheltering in relief camps or on embankments are facing food shortages. Affected families are living under the open sky without shelter to protect them from the sun and rain. Food supplies are irregular and inadequate compared with the great need.
Many families fled their homes with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Once the waters recede their flood-damaged houses will require major repairs or will need to be entirely rebuilt.
Families sheltering in relief camps or on embankments are forced to use contaminated water from rivers or ponds leading to water-borne diseases. Crowded conditions without sanitation facilities have led to serious health problems.
Islamic Relief Response
Islamic Relief’s field office in Bangladesh has started a relief operation in partnership with the UN World Food Programme (WFP). Islamic Relief will distribute 30 metric tons of high protein biscuits, provided by WFP, to 40,000 people across Northern Bangladesh.
The programme will be implemented in the Rangpur, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts. Distributions have already begun with 13,300 beneficiaries living on embankments, in school buildings, on the streets and anywhere there is high ground.