ISSN 2330-717X

Bangladesh: Thousands Still Stranded By Floods


Although water levels have receded following devastating floods that killed at least 100 people at the end of last month, many of those affected across the country say they remain stranded without aid.

Authorities said yesterday that more than 50,000 people have been left stranded in the northwestern district of Sirajgonj, one of the country’s most flood-prone areas, after torrential monsoon rains caused the Jamuna River to burst its banks.

“The river has wiped away my home and farm land. I’ve nowhere to go,” said Abdul Khaleque, 54, a farmer.

Rezaul Karim, 25, a college student, said that flooding and river erosion had also hit his family but that relief efforts had not reached them yet.

Aminul Islam, deputy commissioner of Sirajgonj, said authorities had distributed 1.3 million taka (US$ 15,854) and 500 tonnes of rice, stressing there were no reports of water-borne diseases so far.

“The flood waters have started receding in our area and 10 camps have been set up to shelter hundreds of flood-stricken people,” he said.

Authorities are yet to make a decision on compensation for farmers hit by the floods, he added.

In Kurigram district on the Indian border to the north, the river remains 32 centimeters above safe levels, said authorities, leaving thousands of people stranded in 350 villages. Reports said two children have died from flooding in the area.

Habibur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Kurigram, said river water levels were down by 90 centimeters in the past three days prompting hope that the situation was returning to normal.

In Manikgonj district further south, river erosion has claimed hundreds of hectares of arable land, according to the authorities and farmers in the area.

Sandhya Rani, 46, said that the Jamuna River had swept away all of her few plots of land.

“The river has left me destitute,” she said.

In Chittagong district in the south, deputy commissioner Foyez Ahmed said that the situation was improving after 35 people died last month.

“We hope life will return to normal in a week,” he said.

Floodwater had also started to recede in Sylhet and Sunamgonj districts in the northeast of the country, according to reports, but tens of thousands remained trapped by floodwater in Borga and Jamalpur districts in the northwest.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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