Bangladesh is a flood-prone nation -- we have always known this basic reality
As the floodwater recedes in our coastal areas, the extent of the damage done becomes more apparent. In Cox’s Bazar, at least 20 people were killed due to flooding and landslides last week, while on Friday, a 12-year-old child perished in the floodwater. The damage has been catastrophic: At least a quarter of a million people were marooned due to the water levels, and an estimated Tk32 crore worth of property was destroyed. Untold damage has been done to cropland, fish farms, salt farms, houses, and roads.
While the water level is now going down, for countless families the suffering is just beginning. It is now time, therefore, to ramp up our relief efforts and do all we can to help these citizens back on their feet. The big fear right now is that not only do the residents of these areas face a food shortage, but alarmingly, a shortage of drinking water. The drinking water crisis, more than anything else, needs the attention of the authorities immediately.
It is good to see that rice, dry food, and cash have been distributed among communities in distress, but more may need to be done. These relief efforts are a drop in the bucket compared to what has been lost by these communities, so in the longer term, resilience must be built up so that we are not caught unprepared again the near future. Bangladesh is a flood-prone nation -- we have always known this basic reality of our land. It is time we learned better ways to cope with this reality.