According to official government estimates from the NDRCC, as of 6 August almost 3.7 million people across 19 districts of Bangladesh1 have been affected by monsoon-induced floods that began around 19 July. Dozens of people have died as a result of the floods, mostly from drowning and snakebite, with the death toll continuing to rise.2 Most deaths are thought to be children. (Health Cluster, 04.08.2016).
As floodwaters caused rivers to rise, houses have been inundated and destroyed; household possessions and assets have been washed away along with standing crops. People have been displaced from their homes and currently reside in flood shelters, schools or whatever dry places they can find including rooftops and the high ground provided by embankments and roadsides.
At the time or writing official estimates indicate at least 250,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged (Shelter Cluster based on NDRCC reporting, 03.08.16). Riverbank erosion has resulted in a large number of houses and homesteads being washed away. As of 3 August NDRCC was reporting over 8,300 houses completely washed away and as of 7 August, DDM reported 16,770 houses/homesteads were completely lost with a further 65,156 partially impacted by erosion.
Although floodwaters are now receding in some areas, sit-reps from relevant government bodies show an increase in the number of people affected since monitoring of the situation began at the start of July.
Based on estimated numbers of affected people the districts which have experienced the greatest impact of the floods are:
District Number of people affected
Together, these 5 districts account for more than 70% of the affected people. Jamalpur,
Kurigram and Gaibanda are of particular concern because, being in the north of the country, they experienced the flooding first and have been affected for the longest, they are also among the poorest districts in the country, all with over 30% of the population living below the lower poverty line. All of these districts were also among the worst affected by the flooding in September 2014 affecting around 2 million people in north-western Bangladesh (JNA, 08.09.14).
Most frequently noted immediate needs of the population in affected areas are drinking water, safe sanitation and emergency food however all sectors are affected and a coordinated multi-cluster/sector response is required as discussed below.