July  
2009

Vol 9 - No. 1


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SOUTH ASIA: BANGLADESH


 


                       
       (Afghanistan and Myanmar in the 
         map are not members of SAARC)

Facing the flashflood

Low-lying areas of several districts of the country have been inundated by flashflood amid heavy rain and onrush of waters from across the border. The northeastern districts of Netrakona, Sunamganj and Sylhet, southeastern Feni, Noakhali and the southern greater district of Barisal have been flooded. As heavy to very heavy rainfall continued over northeast and southeastern parts of the country and adjoining Indian state of Asam, Meghalaya and Tripura the water level in the rivers of these areas is rising with the threat of further deterioration of the situation. A number of rivers are now flowing over the danger level. 


As the past experience tells us this is just the beginning of a crisis period, because following monsoon every year water starts rolling down from the hilly regions of India to Bangladesh causing flashflood here. The flood inundates vast areas, damages standing crops and properties and renders huge people shelterless and plunges them into endless miseries. In most of the flood-affected areas the marooned people are forced to stay in makeshift shelters in educational institutions and on highways and embankments under open sky without necessary food and drinking water.


Fortunately, such critical condition has not yet been created but the situation may take a turn for the worse if the rivers continue to swell up and more and more areas continue to go under flood waters. It is known to all that the adverse effect of flood does not remain confined to the inundated areas alone, and rather the entire population bears the brunt of the flood as disruption to communications impedes smooth transportation of goods and causes price hike while crop loss hits the economy. It is already apprehended that crops including vegetables and transplanted paddy as well as seedlings are destined to be damaged in the flooded areas. Fish from hundreds of ponds are likely to be washed away inflicting heavy loss to the fish farmers.


The most alarming aspect of the flood related crisis is that the affected people always face shortage of food, drinking water and medicines. So the immediate task to be accomplished by the government is urgent preparedness to tackle the flood havoc. The disaster management ministry should immediately go into action in the affected areas and take such measures as may be necessary to avert any possible disaster. If the ministry is well-prepared it will be easier to minimise the onslaught of the flood.


With a view to redressing the sufferings of the flood victims advance preparations have to be made for rescue and relief operations. Preparations have to be taken even for facing the possible aftermath of the flood. Steps should be taken to open sufficient number of shelters for the flood victims and arrange relief materials for the destitute. Supply of food, drinking water and medicines for the needy has to be ensured.

[Editorial in The Bangladesh Today]

 

News Briefs

 

Bangladesh Police denies media reports about the arrest of ULFA chief Paresh Baruah: Some media reports have stated that the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah was arrested from an apartment in the Uttara area of Bangladesh capital Dhaka on June 14, 2009. One report said that Baruah was picked up carrying a passport that had his photograph but gave his name as Shamsul Hussain. Five other persons - Pradip Brahma, Partha Chetia, Kantilal Chakma, Shyam Dev Barman and Prashant Pahari - were also arrested along with Baruah. However, on the same day, Bangladesh authorities rejected these reports as "rubbish".Telegraph India; Times of India, June 15, 2009

 

[South Asia Intelligent Review]

 

 

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