Bangladesh: Displacement due to embankment collapse Emergency Plan of Action DREF n° MDRBD021

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Shariatpur district which is situated along the Padma River, the biggest river system in Bangladesh, has been severely affected by riverbank erosion caused by heavy rain and floods in some parts of India and allegedly sudden opening of a dam gate in a neighboring country. The rise of water level in Padma River during the first two weeks of September caused major damage to the riverbank which led to collapse of embankment. According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), the water level near Naria sub-districts has been increasing since 13 September. The water level recorded on 13 September was 5.6m and has since increased to 6.6m, as of 19 September.

As a result, there has been huge damage and impact on the collapse of embankments, and many houses and shelters across about 5km stretch of Padma River were washed away.
The river has struck hard to the already vulnerable points in the last three weeks because of its increased water level and velocity, hence the vulnerable portions of the embankment could not withstand it and collapsed along with farmlands, houses and infrastructures.

Four unions and one municipality of Naria Upazila and Zajira Upazila have been affected to an extent that is unusual in the country. In both upazilas, an estimated 8,710 families or approximately 43,550 people (8,595 families in Naria upazila and 115 families in Zajira upazila) have been displaced, all their houses were washed away.

There is severe erosion in at least 10 points covering 7 kilometers on the banks of the Padma in Shariatpur district including Naria Pourashava, Kedarpur Union, Moktarer Char Union, Nawa Para Union, Charatra Union and Gharisara union2 . In addition to houses, all the roads, bridges, culverts, and other critical infrastructure in the areas were washed away. At least 200 businesses at Sadhur Bazar and 200 shops in the Wapda Bazar area have been eroded by the river as well.

A rapid evacuation took place, but unfortunately some people did not manage to leave on time, resulting in a number of casualties as a result. The following table highlights the number of affected families in Shariatpur as of 19 September 2018.