• Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:25 pm

ED: Heed the warnings

  • Published at 08:03 pm July 20th, 2020
flood tangail
Photo: DHAKA TRIBUNE

It has been predicted that half of the nation could be affected by floods in the coming days

Floods this year have already caused widespread damage and untold misery across the country. This is no surprise -- Bangladesh is a flood-prone country, and we deal with many of these exact same problems year after year, and yet they keep catching us off-guard due to our overall lack of preparedness.

This year, however, the challenge is compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic which the nation, indeed the whole world, is struggling to deal with. With our resources and our attention diverted elsewhere, the problem of flooding may appear secondary. However, if we look at the scale of the problem, it certainly is not.

In the district of Tangail, for example, some 150,000 are currently marooned, with Dhaleshwari and Jhenai rivers still flowing above the danger level. In Madaripur, 15,000 are stranded due to flood waters, with houses, roads, schools, and colleges submerged. In Jamalpur, a staggering 900,000 people are stranded, with very little hope of regaining what they have lost.

It is time to pay careful attention to the warnings issued by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) -- it has been predicted that half of the nation could be affected by floods in the coming days. Both the Bangladesh Meteorological Department and the Flood Forecast and Warning Centre have agreed with these warnings.

It is regrettable that shelters have not been opened by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in a number of flood-afflicted districts, claiming the flooding has not been severe. Clearly, we need to do much better in terms of coordination between the authorities concerned. We must also properly utilize the relief resources which are already there.  

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