The second bout of flood

Dhaka,  Wed,  20 September 2017
Published : 15 Aug 2017, 20:42:09 | Updated : 15 Aug 2017, 20:42:18
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Editorial

The second bout of flood

People in the flood-hit areas are in need of food and shelter. Despite its limited means, the government must try to ensure those in time. The campaign on the part of the relevant ministry and other organisations about relief operations will be of no help unless they actually operate in the affected areas
Before the country could recover from the losses it suffered from an extensive flood last month, another flood of far greater magnitude has struck at least 20 districts in northeastern, northwestern and central regions. About 1.0 million people are reportedly now marooned and passing their days in woeful conditions. The second bout of flood that has already claimed more than two dozen lives in the affected areas, according to experts, is likely to intensify in the next few days as waters are gushing into Bangladesh from the upstream through a number of common rivers, namely, the Brahmaputra, Kushiara, Surma and Teesta. The forecast is that heavy to very heavy rains in Indian northeastern states might make the flood situation in Bangladesh even worse. 

The sufferings of the people of the districts hit by renewed flood know no bound. Villagers who were just back from places they had used as temporary shelters during the first phase of the flood are again on the lookout for new shelters. Innumerable houses, hundreds of schools, roads and other structures have again gone under water. Aman seedbeds have been destroyed and fish stocks, lost. Many affected families are having problems in finding raised lands for their livestock. Scarcity of food and pure drinking water has also emerged as a serious problem. 

The people of this part of the world are familiar with a natural calamity like flood. In fact, they have learnt to live with it and are resilient enough to start life afresh in the post-flood days. It is not possible to do away with floods, but their negative effects can be reduced through some preventive measures such as construction of durable embankments along river banks. But it is also important to make genuine efforts for mitigating the sufferings of the flood-hit people by making available shelter, food and medicine to them. Such measures also need to be followed up with appropriate measures for their post-flood rehabilitation. 

Unfortunately, the measures taken during and after the floods to mitigate the sufferings of people in the affected areas are found to be too inadequate. The government's measures in particular usually remain far short of expectation. What is more painful is that various socio-political organisations, these days, are not found to be very enthusiastic about helping people struck by natural calamities such as floods and cyclones. Even some years back, students and other socio-cultural organisations were seen collecting donations for cyclone-or flood-affected people. Society, as the current trends do unmistakably indicate, has become more self-centred and is not at all interested in helping people in distress. 

In such a situation, the government turns out to be the sole entity tasked with the job of ensuring welfare of the people. But if the government fails to do its jobs properly, people suffer more. This is particularly true in the case of natural calamities. People in the flood-hit areas are in need of food and shelter. The government, despite its limited means, must try to ensure those in time. The campaign on the part of the relevant ministry and other organisations about relief operations will be of no help unless they actually operate in the affected areas. In the meantime, the government should prepare a proper rehabilitation plan for the flood-hit areas and go all-out for its implementation as soon as flood water starts receding from the affected areas.

 
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Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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