Bangladesh: Flash Flood - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation n° MDRBD028


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Due to continuous rains in India’s Meghalaya district since 17 May 2022 and the onrush of upstream hilly waters, the low-lying areas of Sylhet and Sunamganj district of Bangladesh including the cities were inundated. According to the national “Need Assessment Working Group (NAWG)” situation analysis report dated 21 May 2022, approximately two million people have been impacted due to flood that is the worst in nearly two decades. A total of 133 villages of six unions at Companiganj Upazila of Sylhet district with an estimated 46,500 individuals have been affected by the ongoing flood. Moreover, about 72,300 people of 10 unions have been affected by the flash flood in Kanaighat Upazila of Sylhet district with 329 houses damaged (268 partial and 61 fully damaged). Besides, about 1,137 hectares of agricultural land and 205 sq. km area have been inundated. Meanwhile, in Goainghat Upazila of Sylhet district, about 69,165 people of 10 unions have been affected by this flash flood with 396 houses damaged (345 partial and 51 fully damaged). Many areas in the Sylhet have been inundated and vast areas in Kanaighat, Zakiganj, Golapganj, Gowainghat and Fenchuganj Upazilas flooded due to embankment breaches on various points of the Surma river. Furthermore, the road link of Sylhet with Kanaighat and Gowainghat had been cut.

Around 150,000 families in Sylhet and districts have Sunamganj been without power since 17 May 2022 due to the submergence of power stations. More than 873 educational institutions, mostly government primary schools, have been closed due to severe flooding in these two districts. Department of Agricultural Extension’s district office confirmed that the flood had already destroyed 1,421 hectares of seedbed, 1,704 hectares of Boro rice land and 13,340 hectares of summer vegetables. According to the Deputy Director of Sunamganj Agricultural Department, 500 hectares of Boro rice land have gone underwater in Sunamganj Sadar, Tahirpur, Chhatak and Doarabazar Upazilas, with estimated damage worth Bangladeshi Taka (BDT) 50 million (CHF 588,235 approx.). For much of the area concerned, the destroyed Boro rice crop was the only crop of the year, leaving the affected people with little coping mechanisms. Moreover, three children aged under 12 years died due to lightning while helping their parents in the field to save their crops. Also, 96 people have been affected by waterborne disease reportedly from the Sylhet Civil Surgeon’s Office. As of 19 May, the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) reported that 370 tube wells and 3,659 toilets have been affected.