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Second wave of flooding devastating rehabilitation efforts

Thousands of people have been marooned since Thursday 6 September by fresh floods, feared to be worse than those in August. Forty six districts in Bangladesh have been inundated with flood waters for a second time, affecting 11.3 million people.

The water levels in all major rivers have suddenly risen and continue to flow above the danger mark.

The Health Services Directorate General has said the death toll from diarrhoea, drowning, snakebites and respiratory diseases has reached 861 since flooding began in July. Patients with diarrhoea are again increasing, and in one district alone, 250 patients have been admitted in the last three days.

After the August flood waters had receded, many farmers had started to replant their fields however, with the recent floods all of this has been for nothing. The transplanted paddy crop, seed beds and vegetables on vast expanses of land have been covered by the flood water. 

Infrastructure

The recent floods are much stronger than before, causing severe destruction to an already battered infrastructure, from a particularly harsh monsoon season. Over 65,000 homes have been completely destroyed, with over 927 thousand homes partially destroyed. Over 8,000 educational institutions have been partially or completely damaged, while large stretches of embankments and bridges have also been destroyed. 

Search and Rescue

Concern with its partner organisations started search and rescue operations again on 8 September, while the waters were rising fast and washing away everything in their path. 451 families from the Char Region (sand islands) have been rescued and taken to flood shelters. The flood-affected families were rescued with as much of their belongings as possible.

Concern will continue its previously planned relief operations from 4 September. This will include distributing relief to 31,000 families in 10 of the most severely affected districts. Some distributions have been revised in districts that have been hit by returning floods.

Extremely poor families – many of whom have lost what little assets they own already are being targeted specifically. The relief they will receive packages consist of both food and non-food items including 30 kg rice, three kg lentils, two litres vegetable oil, one kg salt, 10 packets of soya protein biscuits, five oral re-hydration salt packets and three bars of soap.

Concern’s response to August floods

Concern completed emergency relief distributions to 11,000 families in Sirajganj, Manikganj and Faridpur between 31 July and 9 August. High energy biscuits supplied by the World Food Programme targeted specifically at children were distributed to 13,916 families in Faridpur, Rajbari, Shariatpur and Magura.

Another phase of relief distribution targeting 24,500 families in eight districts was carried out between 9 and 23 August.