Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bangladesh calls for aid to flood victims

Death toll 587, millions marooned, crops damaged, diseases spread fast, fresh flooding apprehended

"When I spoke to her from the deck of the small motor launch we had hired for a trip up the Jamuna River, Panu Begum was sitting on the roof her house.
"She had been living on the small strip of corrugated tin for five days. The water below was too deep to stand in," BBC reporter John Sudworth writes about a Bangladesh flood victim. (Read full BBC article Disease stalks Bangladesh flood victims)
Badly devasted by the fury of the second phase flooding, the country struggles to feed millions of hungry marooned people who are also catching waterborne diseases.
Bangladeshi newspapers reported 587 deaths
due to flood-related incidents like drowning, waterborne diseases and snakebites.
Experts apprehend more death due to scarcity of drinking water and fast spread of waterborne diseases across the flood-ravaged country.
Bangladesh government today asked the donors for $150 million additional budgetary support and food aid to cope with the emergency caused by the devastating floods that have blighted millions of lives across the country.
The floods over the past few weeks have damaged crops worth about Tk 2,000 crore in 262 upazilas of the 39 flood-hit districts. The flood-affected people, who were preparing to return home following the devastating floods, are now trapped again as many areas were freshly inundated by rain-fed rivers.
Rise of the three major rivers -- Padma, Jamuna and Meghna -- water at many points and several rivers in the northeastern region following heavy rains in the upstream is threatening another fresh flooding in the country.
Vigorously active monsoon over the eastern part of Bihar, West Bengal and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and the Ganges and Brahmaputra and Meghna basins, both in India and Bangladesh, have caused the fresh rise of water levels in rivers.
The Daily Star Photo: (top)
A woman watches in despair her flood-ravaged vegetable field in Narsingdi. Most of the farmers lost all their produces on hundreds of acres in the district; (bottom) Five children of a family sleep on the pavement as their parents left them in search of food. The family recently took refuge in the capital after flood washed away their home in Mymensingh.

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