Bangladesh: Displacement due to embankment collapse EPoA update n° 1; 13 December 2018 DREF n° MDRBD021

Situation Report
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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. The rise of water level in Padma river during the first two weeks of September 2018 caused major damage to the riverbank which led to collapse of embankments. According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of Bangladesh water development Board (BWDB), the water level near Naria upazila (sub- district) increased from 5.6m to 6.6 between 13-19 September. This resulted in huge damage and significant impacts on the collapse of embankments, and many houses and shelters across about 5km stretch of Padma river were washed away. The river struck hard to the vulnerable points at that time because of its increased water level and velocity, hence the vulnerable portions of the embankments 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, and all their houses were washed away. Many people were unable to shift their houses and household items in time. Over 8,000 families (estimated 40,000 individuals) are living on the road and public lands after the displacement from their own houses. So, the immediate need was safe shelter.

The shortage of food was reported in Naria and Zajira upazilas. In fact, affected families have lost everything including agricultural resources, cash and other assets and sources of livelihood. Many people are left jobless as they have lost their agricultural lands and shops in the market areas. Agricultural laborers experience seasonal unemployment, low demands for labor due to single crop farming, low wage in the lean season (September to October)

Furthermore, all existing facilities such as tube-wells, latrines were washed away into the river, therefore there is a dire need for safe drinking water and access to sanitation facilities. People are at high risk of waterborne diseases especially the babies because of unavailability of safe drinking water, clinic and hospital in the communities. The following table highlights the number of affected families in Shariatpur.