Bangladesh: Monsoon Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Brief

This Information Bulletin No.003/2005 is being issued for information only. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time.

The Situation

Flood is a yearly event in Bangladesh. While there have been no major floods this year, the country is experiencing moderate floods at the end of the monsoon period.

Parts of Bangladesh experienced continuous heavy rainfall in the first week of October. Non-stop rainfall and the rush of water from the upstream of India caused flash floods in the north and north-western districts of Bangladesh, namely Kurigram, Joypurhat, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Naogaon, Bogra, Dinajpur, Nilphamar and Gaibandha.

According to media reports, 19 people have so far been reported dead due to this flooding, while thousands of people have been marooned and crops in several flood protection embankments were damaged. More than 2,500 thatch houses were also destroyed and many people have been made homeless in the affected areas.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) bulletin issued on 13 October 2005, the rain-fled flood situation is likely to improve, but all major rivers in the Brahmaputra Basin and Ganges Basin are flowing over the danger levels.

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) and Federation delegation jointly sent two assessment teams on 8 October to the northwest (Joypurhat and Naogan districts) and north part of the country (Bogra, Dinajpur, Nilphamari and Gaibandha districts). According to the assessment team who went to the northwest part of Bangladesh, the most affected areas where in Joypurhat and Naogan districts. In Joypurhat three out of five Upazillas (districts) were affected and approximately 400 to 500 families had taken refuge in shelters. There is a need for drinking water and assistance regarding sanitation. The area is expecting more rainfall and the Bangladesh government is on standby with medical teams and adequate medical supplies, to cope with outbreaks of water borne diseases.

In Naogan, seven out of 11 sub-districts was badly affected due to the heavy rainfalls, the breach of the city's protection embankment and the upstream water coming from India. One of these sub-districts is severely affected with 70 to 80 per cent of its area under water, including the main district town Naogaon Sadar. In this area road connec tions are severely damaged. According to the government, three people were reported dead and approximately 7,000 families have taken refuge in different shelters. The assessment team found that many people took refuge in schools and community shelters and some are living under the open sky. Most of these families have lost their cooking utensils and left their clothes behind during evacuation. It will be difficult to reach many of these families due to the damaged roads and lack of adequate water transports.

The second assessment team covering the northern part of Bangladesh reported that the most affected area was Gaibandha, especially Palashbari Upazilla. In this Upazilla, six out of nine districts were affected, with two of them facing serious flooding due to the breach of embankment on the Korotoa River at three points. Approximately 8,000 families have been seriously affected, crops of 20,000 acres were totally destroyed and four kilometres of metalled road damaged. Water and sanitation situation is deteriorating with increasing reports of diarrhoeal cases. Six tube wells and some sanitary toilets have been established by the initiative of the local authority. People living on the embankment are reachable only by boat.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

BDRCS has been in constant contact with its district units affected by the flash floods. Two BDRC/Federation joint assessment teams, each consisting of two members, left in the early morning of 8 October for rapid assessment of the current flood in the northern districts of Bangladesh. The assessment teams returned on 10 and 11 October respectively.

On 11 October , BDRCS sent 900 family kits, each comprising of clothing, candles and matches, cooking utensils and plastic sheeting, to the affected areas of Joypurhat and Naogan. These family kits will be distributed amongst those families who live in the temporary shelters and are reachable for immediate assistance. Additionally, BDRCS will send 700 family kits in the coming days to Kishorgari and Hossainpur Unions of Palashbari Upazilla in Gaibandha district. These kits will be distributed to the families without proper shelter materials.


BDRCS is coordinating the work in the affected areas with the local authorities, district relief and rehabilitation personnel and community leaders. BDRCS and the Federation delegation are also working together with disaster emergency response group (DER) for coordination in the area. This group consist of different non-government organizations (NGOs) and donor agencies, including UN. The situation is closely monitored and analyzed, with daily information provided by the government-run FFWC. The situation is currently handled with available resources.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Dhaka: A.S.M Akram, Acting Secretary General Bangladesh Red Crescent Society,, phone: +88 02 933 7314

In Dhak a: Selvaratnam Sinnadurai, Head of Delegation, email:; phone: +88 02 831 5401-2, mobile: + 88 0171 521 615, fax: +88 02 934 1631

In India: Bob McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation, phone: +91 11 2685 8671, mobile: +91 98 1000 1534, email:

In Geneva: Hiroto Oyama, Regional Officer , Asia-Pacific Department; email:; phone:+41 22 730 4273, fax: +41 22 733 0395 or Nelly Khrabraya, email:, phone: +41 22 730 4306, fax: +41 22 733 0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at