ACT Alliance Alert: Flooding in Northwest Bangladesh

by Elisabeth Gouel | | ACT Alliance - Switzerland
Friday, 29 August 2014 15:58 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.



Flooding in Northwest Bangladesh

Geneva, 29 August 2014

1.    Brief description of the emergency and impact

The flood situation in the northern region of Bangladesh has deteriorated due to an onrush of water from upstream, coupled with heavy rainfall during the last few days. The north-west region is particularly vulnerable as Teesta, Ghagot and Brahmaputra rivers are over flowing to dangerous levels.

According to the 27 August situation report from the Disaster Management Information Centre (DMIC), some 310,073 people (67,614 families) are affected. A total of 7,105 houses from Kurigram, Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat districts have been completely damaged and affected families are living in water logged conditions. Many bridges and culverts of the districts roads and its connecting roads have been damaged and dirt roads have been washed away. Thousands of hectares of standing amon rice (monsoon rice) has been destroyed. These figures are expected to increase as data is still being gathered from affected areas. There is a prediction that the flood situation of the north-west and north-east region of Bangladesh may continue to slightly deteriorate in the next 48 hours.

2.    Why is an ACT response needed?

RDRS is working in the northwest region of Bangladesh where the flood has caused severe damages. ACT members are well known as humanitarian actors in the area and are often requested to assist in government led humanitarian responses during emergencies. The District Administration is expecting  the humanitarian organizations in the area to come forward and assist the affected people to bring their life back into normalcy.

3.    National and international response

The government of Bangladesh is monitoring the flood/inundation situation and publishing flood situation reports. In that connection, the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) and Upazilla Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) have called special meetings in order to analyze the flood situation and local response. The government has allocated general relief (GR) support for the people of affected areas. In the meantime, local administration of the five districts of Northwest region has distributed 2,100 metric tons (MT) of rice and Tk. 3.9 million. RDRS Bangladesh has already distributed 19.31 MT fortified biscuits among 5,150 families of Kurigram district which was provided by the World Food Programme (WFP).

4.    ACT Alliance response

RDRS will immediately distribute relief packages which contains; 5 kgs of rice, 1 kg molasses and 4 sachets oral rehydration saline each, to 600 families in Kurigram and 400 families in Gaibandha.

5.    Planned activities

The immediate emergency needs among flood affected families include: basic and supplementary food rations, non-food items, shelter, warehouse, emergency medical services, WASH, cash transfer and other daily necessities. The long term rehabilitation and reconstruction includes support for house construction, livelihood restoration, and WASH and disaster risk reduction (DRR) measures. The initial rapid emergency assessment is being conducted, on the basis of that the activities will be finalized. RDRS has an emergency fund of BDT 500,000. We need an estimated of BDT 5 million to ease the immediate sufferings of the affected people.

6.    Constraints

The water level in some areas is increasing and new areas are inundating. So, movement from one place to another is very difficult. However, we have limited financial resources to work in emergency period to address the needs of the affected people. The contingency plan which was developed with the assistance of LWF Emergency Hub will be helpful under this circumstance.


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