The measures we take to shield low-lying areas must be done seriously, ensuring long-lasting protection
In a year in which Bangladesh has experienced some of the worst flooding in its history -- far worse than anything it has experienced in the last decade -- leading to what was nothing short of a national crisis affecting the homes, lives, and livelihoods of millions of Bangladeshis, anything less than acting with the utmost diligence towards protecting those vulnerable to these overflowing waters is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, once again, we have allowed our incompetence to govern our work, leaving hundreds of people vulnerable in Sherpur to the forces of a new flood.
Thanks to incessant rainfall the last few days and the subsequent and inevitable swell of the Maharashi river, the flood protection embankment has collapsed, making way for the overflowing waters of the river to inundate the low-lying areas in Sherpur district.
In various villages, hundreds of homes, in addition to shops and government offices, are now partially under water, no doubt causing great distress to the residents of the region.
But what is potentially more worrisome is the fact that paddy, vegetable, and fish enclosures -- primary sources of income and nourishment -- have become submerged as well, threatening the livelihoods hundreds of farmers and workers.
Thankfully, crops can survive for two to three days under water and, as such, have yet to experience any damage (though the extent of damage to property is yet to be ascertained) and, hopefully, the water will recede accordingly.
But hope and wishful thinking will not protect us, especially not when we have, for decades, experienced the same issues every year. For one, the measures we take to shield low-lying areas must be done seriously, ensuring long-lasting protection.
But, more importantly, we must be better prepared to tackle a situation we have seen all too often, and take steps to ensure that the ones affected by the flood have access to food, shelter, and health care in these most trying of circumstances.