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Preparing for the flood July 30, 2007



The flood situation of Bangladesh is worsening. Most affected are the northwestern districts. In the northeastern areas the water is also rising and the flush water is gradually inundating the areas centering Dhaka.

Thousands people of the affected areas are displaced; their houses, cattle, grains and other properties have been washed way; schools and offices, mosques and other holy structures have been collapsed, people are marooned in places or passing days in camps or makeshift shelters without adequate food and pure water.

The incessant rain over days and the onrush of water from India through the rivers are causing this havoc. which may increase with the days coming. People of Dhaka will be totally marooned by the next 48 hours.

What is our preparation for the flood? Government and non Government agencies are working to lessen the suffering of the people and to lessen the damage to the properties. The LGRD ministry is leading the effort to combat the crisis.

But the questions come up: are we prepared adequately to combat the flood before it actually hit us? Probably the answer will be no. We could not prepare enough embankments by the side our rivers. If at all these are not strong enough to withstand the force of flood water. Many flood projects are undone and many half done and many are ill done. We didn’t prepare or identify alternative shelter for the affected people. We only manage this on transient basis. Are we prepare to manage the other needs – the food, medicine etc of the affected people. In these respect also our past efforts were incomplete and ineffective. Always there was lack of cooperation among the different agencies both private and public. The owe of Dhaka is compounded by the problem of water logging already existing in the city due to inadequate drainage system and blockage of the old ones.

Are we prepared to combat the situation after the flood- the diarrhea and other disease, the long term shelters, the financial support for the rehabilitation for the people in the job or business and to rebuild their houses?

Flood is a common phenomenon in this country and these are sometimes very devastating affecting national economy and individual existence. Never heard of any composite evaluation, plan for immediate management and programs for after-effects.

The ordinary citizen is not informed of everything.

(an ordinary citizen)


Photo: courtesy: The Daily Star


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