CPD recommended increasing the allocation of food and resources to meet the demand
The government has distributed Tk2.89 crore among 50.28 lakh flood-affected people in 33 districts as of August 2 which suggests per head allotment was only Tk 5.7 on an average, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) says.
CPD revealed the figure from their research findings in a webinar, on damages caused by the recent flood in the country, held on Wednesday.
According to research findings, the government allocated Tk4.27 crore as general relief (GR) cash. Of them, Tk2.89 crore were distributed till August 2.
If the remaining money is distributed among the same number of affected people, each person will receive only Tk2.75.
On the other hand, the government allocated 19,510 tons of GR rice for distribution. Of them, 12,818 tons have been distributed to the flood-affected people in 33 districts. Each of the flood victims got 2.5 kg of rice.
If the remaining rice is distributed among the same number of people, each will receive 1.3kg of rice on an average.
The government also distributed animal feed worth Tk 2.04 crore, child food worth Tk1.01 crore, 100 bundle CI sheet and house building grant worth Tk3 lakh as of August 2.
The figures were revealed in a survey carried out in the 15 most affected districts by The Needs Assessment Working Group (NAWG) led by The Department of Disaster Management (DDM).
The survey revealed that 90% households have difficulties in accessing cooking fuel. Access to safe water is seriously impeded in 90% unions and personal and menstrual hygiene is a major concern in two-thirds of the unions.
However, the number of recipients of government relief was not available.
CPD said the government relief efforts largely missed the multidimensional needs as revealed by the survey.
CPD recommended increasing the allocation of food and resources to meet the demand.
According to the research findings, 50.28 lakh people have been affected which represents 6.1% of population in 33 districts.
The 35-days long flood damaged crops worth $42 million and livestock worth $74.5 million.
A total of 81,179 tube-wells, 73,343 latrines, 1,900 schools, 125,549 hectares of agricultural land and 16,537 hectares of grassland have been damaged as well.
Out of 334 most affected unions in 33 districts, embankments in 220 unions have been damaged.
Over 4km embankment is damaged in 97 unions, 2-4km damaged in 53 unions and up to 2km damaged in 70 unions. Authorities often failed to repair and replace faulty embankments, the research paper said.
CPD Senior Research Associate DM Kamruzzaman presented the research findings.
The government distributed leafy vegetables and other vegetable seeds among the affected and marginal farmers worth Tk 10.26 crore.
This allocation is only 3.4% of the total budget for agriculture rehabilitation assistance of Tk300 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The government will also distribute Aman rice seeds worth Tk58.08 lakh which is only 0.2% of total budget for agriculture rehabilitation assistance.
Only 22% of targeted Boro Paddy procured
The government had set a target to procure 0.8 lakh tons paddy at Tk 26 per kg during this Boro season.
However, the government procured only 0.18 lakh tons of Boro paddy which is only 22% of the target.
Similarly, the government managed to procure 45% of the targeted Boro rice from the farmers.
The government procured 5.23 lakh tons of Boro rice out of a target of 11.5 lakh metric tons.
In 2019 during this time, 76% Boro paddy and 86% boro rice had already been procured.
Many farmers had sold their produce by the time the government procurement drive was started in the flood affected areas.
CPD recommended several measures regarding expanding relief efforts, flood management and infrastructure restoration, institutional and supportive measures.
The research team at CPD also suggested distributing relief based on the poverty rate in each district while keeping in mind the new group of poor people who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
CPD Chairman Dr Rehman Sobhan presided over the webinar while State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman was the chief guest.
Hydrologist Professor Dr Ainun Nishat, CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun, CPD Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman, Educator Rasheda K Chowdhury, and media personality Shykh Seraj also joined the webinar.
Rehman Sobhan stressed on preventive measures and immediate response while Dr Ainun Nishat stressed on building strategy for embankment and timely repairs.
Shykh Seraj suggested to take short, medium and long term action according to the Delta plan while Rasheda K Chowdhury recommended not building schools in erosion prone areas at the webinar.