A good part of the country’s north and eastern regions has been affected by severe flood. While this is a yearly phenomenon, this year both the north and the eastern and hilly regions have been affected simultaneously, submerged by heavy rains as well as being inundated by overflowing rivers. The three CHT districts have been severely hit too. Nearly a million-and-a-half people have been affected and a vast swathe of croplands have been inundated. On the other hand, the capital city and the port city have suffered the severe consequences of continuous rain—which is not likely to abate for another three days—and of the poor drainage facility, disrupting normal life.
While it is noteworthy that the government has already alerted the local administration, we feel that both rescue and relief operations should commence without delay. In many parts of the affected areas in the outlying regions, people are marooned with very little to survive on, and many have sought shelter on the embankments. These are the ones that must be moved to safer places immediately and have food and drinking water made available to them. A prolonged stay on the embankments is a danger to them as well as the embankments.
While during-the-disaster actions are extremely essential to ensure that no lives are lost, what is equally important is taking prompt measures during the post-flood period, after the floodwaters have receded. It is essential to plan for the rehabilitation of the affected people and sustaining them till the next harvest. Agricultural loan should be made easily available as well as the necessary agricultural inputs, while the aspect of health of these people should also be addressed, as they could be vulnerable to waterborne diseases.