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When the rains put lives at risk

  • Published at 12:44 pm June 14th, 2018
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Photo:SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

This sort of weather pattern suggests that climate change remains a pressing concern in Bangladesh

Incessant rainfall has led to intense flooding in various areas around the country, putting the lives of thousands of people at risk. 

In Sylhet, rivers have overflowed to dangerous levels, while in Chittagong, there is the continuous risk of landslides, on top of the flooding. 

This level of flooding means that many will be forced to leave their houses, rendering them homeless and at risk of various waterborne diseases, while more than a 100,000 people remain trapped in various upazilas, surrounded by the water. 

Landslides and mudslides have already led to the deaths of 12 people in the hill tracts, while dozens of others remain missing.

Every year, during the monsoon seasons, the same tragedy repeats itself -- last year, more than 70 people died in the landslides while thousands of houses were damaged beyond repair. 

The cutting of hills and rampant deforestation to make way for an increasing population, in addition to the increasing amount of rainfall, have made the hill tracts unsuitable for human habitation. 

The repetition suggests that we are not doing enough to avert the tragedy the monsoon season brings with it and the government, in conjunction with local authorities, should work to move these people out of harm’s way.

This sort of weather pattern suggests that climate change remains a pressing concern in Bangladesh, and more permanent alternatives are required to solve the problem -- the temporary initiatives set up by local administration will not cut it. 

Better forest management and weather predictions would go a long way towards preventing deaths such as these in the future.