Record-breaking floods in Bangladesh have wreaked havoc as an estimated 7.2 million people have been affected and are in desperate need of shelter and emergency relief items in the north-eastern region of the country, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
From early in the month of June, torrential rain and upstream water have completely submerged around 94 per cent of the town of Sunamganj and 84 per cent of Sylhet districts, in northeastern Bangladesh, bordering the Meghalaya state of India.
Parts of Meghalaya have experienced the highest amount of rainfall in decades, which has led to overflowing of large river systems running between India and Bangladesh and completely swallowing surrounding areas.
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Secretary General Kazi Shofiqul Azam said, “We have never seen this sort of flooding in our living memories in that region. Hundreds of thousands of people took refuge as their houses went under water and almost all their neighborhoods inundated. Large parts of Sunamganj and Sylhet were completely cut off due to severe disruption of road communication and power cuts.
“Our volunteer teams were on the ground helping people with much needed dry foods, cooked food, safe drinking water. Bangladesh Red Crescent has launched a strategy involving USD 10 million to carry out relief and recovery operations in the affected areas.”
While Sylhet and Sunamganj have almost been cut off from other parts of the country, multiple districts nearby including Netrokona, Kishoreganj are also experiencing floods.
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society teams are also providing food package to last at least two weeks, heath care services through mobile medical teams, hygiene and dignity kits and tarpaulins and jerrycans.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal for CHF 7.5 million (USD 7.8 million) to support the Bangladesh Red Crescent to scale up and expand reach of its localized response and recovery efforts to prevent and alleviate the suffering of 300,000 people affected by the recent floods.
IFRC Head of Bangladesh Country Delegation Sanjeev Kafley said, “Within just a month, Sylhet and Sunamganj have been flooded and the scale of devastation this time is so much more than the previous ones. We are scaling up our operations alongside Bangladesh Red Crescent due the urgency of the situation.
The greater focus is on the urgent needs of the affected population for first three months by expanding and scaling up the response of Bangladesh Red Crescent. After that, recovery assistance will also be provided ensuring that the affected population will self-recover from the crisis in a sustainable way and strengthen their resilience to impending disasters.”