Bangladesh is one of the world's most vulnerable countries to climate change and also one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. The geographical location, land characteristics, multiplicity of rivers and the monsoon climate render Bangladesh highly vulnerable to natural hazards. In Bangladesh, floods are annual phenomena affecting up to up to 68% of the country in extreme cases. These disaster events have had a significant impact on people’s lives, livelihoods and socioeconomic infrastructure in the affected areas, pushing a large number of people into poverty and food insecurity.
Heavy monsoon rain in July 2019 caused intense flooding across Northern Bangladesh. Nearly 3 million people are struggling with the impacts of the floods, the worst in two years since the 2017 monsoon flood. The Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) identified the nine most severely affected districts as: Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Sylhet, Sirajganj, Tangail, Sunamganj,
Bogra and Bandarban. The Government and humanitarian stakeholders supported affected communities and mobilized resources to provide food and non-food items to people in the affected areas. However, even though, compared to the 2017 monsoon flood, the 2019 flood is not that widespread, it has impacted many districts, and the distress to the people and disruption created is severe and impact may last for a longer period. This is notably since the affected population is largely vulnerable due to geographical location, poverty, prolonged impact of flood 2017 and lack of resilience.
The rapid response implementing agency monitoring and post distribution monitoring reveal that there are still persisting needs at the community level. To have an overview on the effects and impact of the disaster responding agency decided to go for a ‘Post Emergency Response Inter-Agency Joint Needs Assessment’ for modalities of further intervention. The worst affected six districts (Bandarban, Bogra, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Kurigram and Sirajganj) were selected as assessment area. The objective of this assessment is to present the full extent of the monsoon flood 2019 impact, define the current needs, and, in so doing, serve as the basis for designing strategy and guide to prioritized interventions.
The flood effect damage was highest in the livelihood sector, followed by community infrastructures and shelter as the priority sectors requiring urgent support for the flood damaged communities. The affected areas are highly agriculture dependent, attributing to loss of livelihoods among farmers. The floods washed away extensive sections of infrastructure (roads, bridges, culverts and more) in the affected districts making it the second affected sector.
Some community infrastructures have been damaged since the flood of 2017, which resultantly made the infrastructures more vulnerable. Given the severity of the flood, shelter is the third biggest priority in the assessed unions. The high poverty rate compounded with weak infrastructures of the houses in northern region requires need for support in this sector.
The reconstruction efforts should be implemented in order to achieve the goal of improving resilience with priority given to livelihood, community infrastructure and Shelter. In addition, new ways of working are needed to better integrate humanitarian and development action.