Heavy monsoon rain and water from upstream sources caused slow-onset severe flooding in low lying areas of Northern Bangladesh. The 2020 floods has some remarkable characteristics in comparison with major floods in the recent past. It started earlier than usual (late June), it lasted more 60 days in some areas and, in Bahadurabad of Jamalpur, the Jamuna flowed at 20.79 m, 17cm above the last water level record set in 1988 according to Floods Forecasting Warning Centre (FFWC).
According to the National Disaster Response Coordination Center (NDRCC), one (1) million households were waterlogged. The disruption of services hindered meeting basic needs and, people suffered from hunger, illness, thirst and filthiness. The NDRCC report informs that 5.5 million (highest at 4 August) people were directly affected and, that 1,059,295 households were inundated. Among them, 211,859 families were displaced, and 94,414 people were evacuated in 1,525 shelters. The Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE) informs that 928,60 tube-wells and 100,223 latrines were damaged. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) informed that around 83,000 hectares of paddy fields were affected. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), 257 people lost their lives due to the floods.
The anticipatory impact analysis activated the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT)’s Humanitarian Preparedness and Response Plan (HPRP) in line with the contingency plan for climate-related disasters in time of COVID-19 pandemic. Following the HCTT meeting organized on 14 July 2020, the Needs Assessment Working Group (NAWG) led by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and CARE coordinated an impact assessment in collaboration with national authorities and partners. Using a contextualized INFORM Risk Index and Sphere guidance, Districts and Key Immediate Needs (KIN) and related sectors were prioritized: Protection (Child Protection, Gender-based Violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Education); Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion; Food Security and Nutrition, and Shelter.
On 4 August 2020, the HCTT co-led by the MoDMR and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office endorsed the HCTT response plan. The coordinated response follows a two-track approach: life-saving and early recovery interventions.