Flood relief far from adequate

Update: | Print Edition

Over three million people have been affected by the floods in 21 districts around the country, according to the relief ministry, but relief has been inadequate.

Correspondents in the flood-affected areas report that the situation is devastating. Our correspondents said that the government and the non-government organisations are doing what they can to help the flood-affected people, but it is far from sufficient. It has been almost five days now that people have taken to flood shelters, but government relief hasn’t even reached some of these shelters.

There are some relief activities in areas which are in the towns and upazilas, or where communication is relatively easy, but no one is taking relief to the remote areas. There are many chars (sand bars) up north were people are needy and deprived even in the dry season. It is not difficult to imagine their plight at present.

Food and water are the greatest need of the flood affected people. This is not just for those in flood shelters, but for those who are trapped by water in their own homes. Sanitation is a big problem too. Dry food, water purification tablets, candles and matches are also sorely required, according to our correspondents.

Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable in any natural calamity. Women have certain extra requirements. They need sanitary napkins too. Those involved in flood relief should keep such matters in mind. Such considerations must be made in relief planning so has to alleviate the people’s sufferings effectively.

Floods are one thing, but it’s another thing when the waters begin to recede. Diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases begin to spread. This must be kept in mind to and preparations made accordingly. According to the disaster management and relief ministry, crops on 172,217 hectares of land have been damaged. Over 750 thousand families have been affected. Post-flood rehabilitation planning must take these figures into consideration. Work must begin the moment the water begin to recede.

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