Bangladesh: Floods Appeal No. MDRBD002 Operations Update No. 12


Period covered by this Operations Update: 17 March to 18 May 2008

Appeal target: CHF 7.1 million (USD 5.9 million or EUR 4.3 million)

Appeal coverage: 66%; Outstanding needs: CHF 2.3 million (USD 2,194,390 or EUR 1,440,069).

Appeal history:

- An Emergency Appeal launched on 3 July 2007 for CHF 842,257 (USD 684,762 or EUR 510,459) for six months to assist 133,255 beneficiaries.

- Emergency Appeal revised on 16 August 2007 to focus on the floods. The budget was increased to CHF 7,113,119 (USD 5,907,905 or EUR 4,310,980) for eight months to assist 1,200,000 beneficiaries due to the deteriorating situation.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) allocated on 20 June 2007: CHF 250,000


With the support of the International Federation and donors, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society have implemented and completed all planned relief/recovery activities initiated under this appeal framework. These include basic food and non-food support to 67,500 severely affected and unassisted families (337,500 people) in 42 districts; blankets to 65,200 affected families in 61 districts; basic health care services to 50,220 families (251,100 people); under recovery - restoring 100 water systems for 5,500 families together with 65 new installations; erection of 912 sanitation latrines with raised platforms; distribution of water purification tablets to 40,320 families for 30 days including promotion of personal safe hygiene messages with special focus on the uses of water purification tablets; water and sanitation support and safe hygiene promotion including distribution of community sanitation tools for another 4,400 families in four districts; livelihood support through the distribution of wheat, onion and rice seeds to 15,000 affected marginal farmers and their vulnerable families. With the extension of the floods operation due to some unspent money, new activities highlighted in the previous operations update (n=B0 11) have been set to be carried out by the end of 2008.

The situation

Due to extensive damage of crops caused by two consecutive spells of floods, prices of essential goods spiraled over the last six months. According to a national daily, high inflationary pressure that will persist for some time will continue to affect the poor in the areas affected by floods even after a bumper boro (rice) harvest. The newspaper quoted researchers stating that even after the bumper production of boro, the inflationary pressure on livelihoods of the urban population would continue, affecting the standards of living of those affected by the floods. With the approaching monsoon season, it is essential that those living in flood prone areas be assisted to enable them to prepare themselves for the upcoming floods.

An evaluation team comprising of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), International Federation and an external evaluator submitted an evaluation report on 26 April 2008, based on participatory meetings with beneficiaries in two of the affected districts, viz. Manikgonj and Shariatpur. The beneficiaries expressed their satisfaction with the packages of relief items provided to them by the BDRCS. Community appreciation was also received on the risk reduction approach that had been initiated during construction of raised latrines and community latrines at the flood centre/shelter and the installation of water systems with the raised platforms to ensure access to safe drinking water, practise of safe hygiene and meeting other household needs during the upcoming flood season.

The beneficiaries who had received wheat seeds under the operation, have completed harvesting for wheat flour. Farmers who had received paddy seeds are now busy harvesting for rice. They will benefit from this as a long-term support.

With the extension of the floods operation due to some unspent money, new activities highlighted in the previous operations update (n=B0 11) have been set to be carried out by the end of 2008, and preparations to carry these out have started. Requisitions of procurement and replenishment of the disaster preparedness buffer-stock for non-food relief commodities and emergency kits, to combat future disasters, have been submitted. Discussions on considering other proposed activities such as water and sanitation projects, purchase of vehicles for BDRCS, renovation of ten BDRCS unit offices, two old trucks to be transformed into a mobile office and construction of houses for displaced people, have taken place. It is anticipated that the decisions from the discussions will be finalized soon. The activities are expected to be completed by early September 2008.