Dhaka, July 19 (IANS) Torrential rains in the northern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh have put more than 4 million people at risk of food insecurity and disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has said.
Thousands are left stranded, without power and electricity, as floods and landslides ravage roads and vital infrastructure while 66,000 homes have been destroyed in Bangladesh, the IFRC was cited as saying by bdnews24.com.
Food and clean water shortages were being reported as well as a rise in waterborne diseases in the country, the report said.
Tangail district, some 97 km away from Dhaka, is one of the seriously affected parts of Bangladesh. The flooding has caused major problems for many residents in the district where people have also been suffering with erosion of Jamuna, one of the three mighty rivers in Bangladesh.
Md Abu Bakar, an official at the Bangladeshi government’s Department of Disaster Management, said earlier this week that the flooding in almost one-third of Bangladesh districts, including Tangail left at least 20 people dead and displaced thousands of families.
Bangladeshis are “reeling under the full force of the monsoon rains and the ensuing floods and landslides. Even if the rains recede, overflowing rivers upstream will worsen the flooding in the coming days”, said Azmat Ulla, head of IFRC’s Bangladesh office.
There are fears that destruction of crops may lead to food shortages with children, breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women and the elderly being identified as most vulnerable.
The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society has mobilised 675 volunteers to support communities in the flood-affected districts.
In addition to carrying out rapid assessments, these teams are distributing food, clean water, hygiene kits and tarpaulins to families whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the landslides, according to the report.
“Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed which puts people further in the direct path of dangerous floods. We are seriously concerned about access to the affected populations,” said Md Feroz Salah Uddin, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.