Disaster Management Bureau of Bangladesh

I am Sadeer Nasser, a researcher for UNICEF and currently I am in Bangladesh looking into causes and effects of flooding - Disaster Management Bureau of Bangladesh introduction. As you may already know a major source of flooding in Bangladesh are tropical cyclones. I have come to Bangladesh to find a solution to prevent lots of damage happening in Bangladesh. These cyclones cause structural damage, contaminate water, take lives and tarnish the economical status of the country. Cyclones usually occur around October-November time when temperatures are at highest and they usually sweep in from the Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh is a country made up of low lying land and two hundred and thirty rivers, these qualities of the country obviously contribute to the country’s flooding problem. I have been researching Bangladesh’s flooding history and the main effects are damage towards the infra structure and electricity masts. In addition crops get ruined, people and animals die and there is great economical loss. In fact in the 1998 flooding 918 people died, 26,500 cattle were killed, roads were damaged and over 50% of Bangladesh’s crops were damaged due to the flood these effects are more severe due to Bangladesh’s geographical features.

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For instance Bangladesh is mostly flat flood plains and delta, making it easier for flooding to occur. Bangladesh has also got drainage of 230 rivers. Additionally Bangladesh is a Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC) meaning its responses are very weak after a major flood. The flooding put effects on buildings, businesses, and water supplies. Many people were stranded without food or clean water, which was very dirty during the flooding; some shops did remain open despite the flooding. The greatest loss was River Ganges and other areas greatest to the north, those were the places most affected to the flooding in Bangladesh.

There was very heavy loss of rice production in the central of Bangladesh. The flood badly affected the quality of Bangladeshi people, 1,000,000 number of people were taken refuge, there were 918 deaths, 5,500 crops were flooded (hectares) made people suffering from starvation, 4,528 embankments damaged, children could not go school cause of them being flooded (1,178 schools damaged), there wasn’t no one really controlling the situation cause 366 police stations were damaged, 2,716 shelters were damaged from flooding, (83%) of Bangladeshi people live in rural areas and (17%) live in urban areas, the land is used equally by people. 75%) is used as arable (crop) farming, (5%) pasture for animals, (15%) forest woodland, and urban (built up) areas (5%).

The flooding was most severe in central and northern areas; they were severely flooded because they were around the largest rivers. I suggest well I have outlined some short-term solutions for flooding in Bangladesh. These solutions will solve immediate effects of tropical cyclones in Bangladesh. Firstly lack of medicines after all a flood is a serious problem. I propose that your government could provide medical stores in each village and train some villagers in basic health care.

This will decrease the amount of disease from dirty water due to people being provided with water purification tablets, which clean contaminated water and will provide medicines for people with illnesses. Another problem is the amount of food after a major flood. Many people lose their homes and crops following a flood, I advise your government to build flood proof grain storage sheds. This scheme is quite cheap and would immediately provide people with food after a flood. From my research I have concluded that huge amounts of crops get destroyed every time floods happen.

My short-term solution is to provide villages emergency farm replacements. This would enable farmers to get back to work after floods subside, it would lower risks of starvation and provide small economic recovery. To stop tropical cyclones causing massive disruptions in Bangladesh, there should be long-term solutions made to prevent this happening in Bangladesh. Long-term solutions will help Bangladesh; I picked out some that could be rewarding. Firstly I would think large villages should link to an emergency flood warning system, which could allow people to prepare for a flood, allowing time for preparations and evacuations.

It’s quite expensive and it would require maintenance and operation through trained personnel. Another long-term idea is to build river embankments along the river channel lowering risk of flooding and creating jobs. But this would be expensive and would cause restricted water flow causing stagnant water. My final recommended long-term solution would be to sink new tube wells in villages. This scheme is expensive and needs maintenance personnel. The overall result is water protection from contamination, decreasing disease.

A startling discovery I made is that global warming will add to Bangladeshi’s problems. Warm temperatures melting ice gaps and raising sea levels direct this. I think this could negatively affect solutions outlined. Finally I’ll say your government should look into some short-term solutions. Medical replacements and grain storage are schemes likely to be successful. Long-term solutions should be also looked into and I hope some suggestions have cleared the way for problem solving. I would like to hear of plans that your government has decided on as soon as possible.

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