Bangladesh: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 2

*This bulletin is being issued for further information following the first bulletin as well as setting the basis for a DREF request to fund continued humanitarian assistance required in the coming days. It reflects the current situation and response, and the immediate intervention that is required for the affected population. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has principally decided to make a DREF request to provide and scale up assistance to the population affected by the disaster. *

The situation

Since the second week of August, heavy rains in the main river basins and upstream catchments of India, along with continuous rainfall in northwest and north-eastern parts of Bangladesh have caused flooding in low-lying districts. Districts in the north-west of the country were heavily impacted which triggered a Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) to be carried out in nine districts by members of the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT). Situation reports from the Disaster Management Information Centre (DMIC) and reports from BDRCS’ local units as well as other NGOs brought attention to the seriousness of flooding in those districts clustered around the north-west (Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Sherpur).

In the following week, with the continuation of heavy rainfalls and many rivers flowing above danger level, the number of districts hit by flood increased as fresh areas went under water. Sunamganj, Sylhet and Netrokona in the north-east of the country and, even more recently, districts in the centre of the country (Munshiganj, Tangail, Faridpur, Manikganj, Rajbari) were affected by the floods. Due to the collapse of embankment on the night of 28 August, 100 more villages were inundated affecting 100,000 more people. The DMIC situation report issued on 1 September shows that more than half a million families (approx. 2.8 million people) are affected.

Among these, more than 57,000 families (275,000 people) are displaced, including more than 31,000 families (150,000 people) whose homes have been totally inundated/destroyed. A total of 99 floods shelters are active in the affected districts, housing some of the displaced population while others have settled in along elevated roads and with host families.

It needs to be mentioned here that districts in the South (Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna) had experienced flood since July and districts such as Feni and Chittagong had been waterlogged around the same time for several days due to heavy rains.

The draft JNA report shared on the 1 September mentions the 2014 floods as ‘the most severe floods the country has faced since the 2007 mega floods, and reports over two million people being affected by the current flood in the assessed nine districts. In Kurigram alone, 120,000 people were displaced at the time of the assessment. The most prominent needs are reported to be food, followed by water and sanitation and livelihoods.

According to the latest Government report, some of the rivers are in falling trend (Ganges and Meghna) while the rivers around Dhaka city such as Buriganga, Balu, Turag and Tongi Khal are likely to rise. As the monsoon season extends up to October, the situation is likely worsened. Water table at 16 river stations are still flowing above their danger levels.