With floodwater receding, different types of waterborne and skin diseases are spreading among the affected people, but in many areas victims have not received any government medical aid yet or could not see doctors due to lack of money.
According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, around 7.6 million flood-hit people of the country are at risk of hunger and disease.
“Floods have left hundreds of thousands stranded in northern and north-eastern parts of the country and damaged more than 600,000 homes,” the organisation said in a press release yesterday.
“Families are forced to live in unsanitary conditions and lack safe drinking water and adequate shelter, raising fears of wide-spread disease outbreaks. Communities are also reporting food shortages as more than 160,000 hectares of farmland have been damaged,” the release added. Flood has hit 28 districts of the country, but more than 4 million people are still affected in nine districts, while water has receded in the remaining 19, according to the disaster management and relief ministry’s report, which was updated yesterday,
At a press conference on Sunday, the ministry’s senior secretary, Md Shah Kamal, said the government has deployed 1,095 medical teams across the 28 affected districts to provide medical care to flood victims.
The Daily Star talked to several affected families in this regard yesterday.
Minni Begum, 41, a resident of Dighapara char in Bogura’s Sariakandi upazila, said, “Most of the children and elderly persons of the village are suffering from cold, diarrhoea, dysentery and skin diseases. But they are yet to get any medicine from the government.”
Bogura’s deputy civil surgeon Md Ahia Kamal, however, said 145 medical teams are working to provide medical services in flood affected areas of the district.
Another victim, Nur Islam, 60, of Char Laxmikanta village of Kurigram Sadar upazila, said, “I returned home three days ago from the temporary flood shelter. Now three of my family members are suffering from fever and diarrhoea as we had to drink polluted water. We could not visit any doctor as we have no money right now.”
A resident of Char Tapuvelakopa of the same village, Bulbulee Bewa, 48, said, “I have been suffering from allergy for the last couple of days. Most of the people of our village are facing similar problems after returning home from flood shelters.”
Meanwhile, the government’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre yesterday said the water level in all major rivers will continue to fall for 48 hours from 9:00am yesterday. However, the Ganges (Padma) may flow steadily for 24 hours more.
The centre yesterday monitored water levels of different rivers at 93 stations across the country. Of these, water was flowing above the danger level at four stations.
In its weather forecast, the Meteorological Department said light to moderate rain and thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty wind are likely to occur at most places over Khulna, Barishal and Chattogram divisions, and at a few places over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Dhaka, Mymensingh and Sylhet divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at isolated places over the country today.