Caritas is assessing an emergency situation in northeastern Bangladesh which is affected by a long period of heavy rain from 29 March to 07 April and has destroyed crops and other means of livelihood.
Speaking to ucanews, Daniel Dhritu Snal, project officer of disaster management at Caritas Sylhet said the agency is evaluating damage done by floods that have submerged vast areas in the haor wetland region which covers seven districts. Most of the evaluations are being done in Sunamganj district in Sylhet division, which has been the hardest hit area.
"We will offer people food items, which they need most, as well as money if they need it. Where necessary, we will give them medicine because various waterborne diseases hit affected communities after flooding," said Snal.
"We will help people as much as we can but we have also designed a project to make communities able to fight disasters like flooding and drought effectively in the long run," he said.
Caritas will collaborate government and other NGOs to determine most needy communities, he said.
Sunamganj district lies in the haor area where people rely on winter rice plantations for a yearlong supply of their staple food as well as fishing and duck farming. A haor is a bowl-shaped tectonic depression in the floodplains. It receives surface runoff water from rivers and canals, and becomes an extensive, turbulent water body in the monsoon season only to dry up in the post-monsoon period.
A problem since late March, the current flooding has been caused by a combination of unseasonal heavy rains and an onrush of water from upstream rivers in neighboring India.
Bangladesh is among the most disaster-prone and climate vulnerable countries in the world, and is frequently hit by floods, drought, and tropical cyclones, with significant losses of lives and substantial costs to the economy.
The country’s Department of Disaster Management reported that 102,875 people have been affected. 125,885 hectares of crops, chiefly rice, were damaged. (UCAN)