The monsoon season has reached South Asia and has already devastated large portions of agricultural and urban areas, leaving millions suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in financial ruin.
Approximately 10 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have been affected by monsoon floods in 2020, the worst flood since 1998. As a result, more than 550 people have died, and more than a million were displaced or isolated.
A third of Bangladesh was submerged after torrential rains caused 53 rivers to overflow their banks in June, as Bangladesh began to recover from the devastation left by Cyclone Amphan in May.
Bangladeshi M. Jubair Ahmed published images of the flood in the south of the country:
Flood in Southern part of Bangladesh pic.twitter.com/iEdQOrkVCl
– M. Jubair Ahmed (@ MJubairAhmed1) August 21, 2020
Flood in southern Bangladesh.
Journalist Rafiqul Islam Montu wrote on the GainConnection website:
Villagers lost their livelihood and have found no work, hence no income. Unemployment is rising. Cyclone affected families are struggling to get their daily food. There is an acute shortage of drinking water as well. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse, as relief supplies are affected. The west coast of Bangladesh is facing multiple disasters.
The villagers lost their livelihood and found no work, therefore they have no income. Unemployment increases. Families affected by the cyclone struggle to have food every day. There is a great shortage of drinking water as well. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things worse, relief supplies are affected. The west coast of Bangladesh faces multiple disasters.
The voluntarily repaired #embankment was washed away by the pressure of the tide. People are floating in the water again. The embankment that collapsed in Cyclone Ampan was repaired at the initiative of the villagers. Picture of the west. #coastofBangladesh.@third_pole pic.twitter.com/EJMgN5qgcp
– Rafiqul Montu (@ri_montu) July 24, 2020
The dam that volunteers repaired was washed away by the pressure of the tide. People float on the water again. The dam that collapsed due to Cyclone Ampan was repaired at the initiative of the villagers. Photo from the west coast of Bangladesh.
According to the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture, 13,230 million taka ($ 156 million) of crops have been affected, and approximately 257,148 hectares of farmland submerged by floods, affecting more than one million farmers. .
According to UNICEF, more than 3.3 million people in Bangladesh, including 1.3 million children, have been made homeless or are living in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
The devastation comes at a time when emergency and health services were already overwhelmed with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of India's water management
India has built more than 5,000 dams and levees on transnational rivers, and many affect the flow of water in Bangladesh. In the dry season, rivers like the Teesta are reduced to narrow streams.
When India opens its floodgates during the monsoon season, the added pressure causes erosion of river banks, affecting nearby settlements. Bangladesh has several issues with India regarding the water they share. The recent agreements signed in 2019 between India and Bangladesh have been met with criticism from Bangladeshi citizens who say that the agreements favor India, which has a natural advantage as the headwaters of the rivers are located on its borders.
Experts blame India for prolonged flood in Bangladesh https://t.co/LYeeiY73Gk pic.twitter.com/w4kWWydjdd
– South Asian Monitor (@S_A_Monitor) August 17, 2020
Experts blame India for prolonged flooding in Bangladesh
Two-step trigger system
In 2020, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) worked with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to implement a new model of Preventive humanitarian action with the aim of distributing humanitarian aid to potentially affected populations before the onset of a disaster.
The program has a two-step trigger system – a pre-trigger based on the GloFAS forecast, and a trigger based on the Bangladesh Government Flood Warning and Forecast Center (FFWC). After two notices are activated, the Government distributes appropriated funds accordingly.
It's finally happening! They call it #anticipatory #humanitarian #action. Interesting .. but what happened to Disaster Risk Reduction #DRR as a term?
Faster than floods: How to prevent a double disaster in Bangladesh https://t.co/vZt0WQucbi
– Minna (@MinnaAja) August 19, 2020
Faster than floods. How to avoid a double disaster in Bangladesh.
The United Nations World Food Program and the Central Emergency Response Fund use the forecasts to help people prepare for the next climate crisis.
It's finally happening! They call it advance humanitarian action. Interesting, but what happened to Disaster Risk Reduction as a term?
Faster than floods. How to avoid a double disaster in Bangladesh.
Severe flooding was forecast for the next several weeks along the Jamuna River on July 4.
The United Nations quickly allocated $ 5.2 million from its Central Emergency Action Fund (CERF) for distribution to communities most likely to be affected by the floods.
Recipients of the funds can then prepare with purchases of food, medicine and reinforcement to their homes before a flood.
Raquib Rony, who works in the office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Bangladesh, tweeted:
81179 tube wells were damaged by the on going #floods in #Bangladesh. With the support of @IFRC, @ BDRCS1 started to provide tube well disinfection services where the water receded. Families do not need to worry to go other places to collect drinking water. 📷BDRCS #Jamalpur Branch pic.twitter.com/cl3QaFTyfk
– Raquib Rony (@RaquibRony) August 20, 2020
There are 81,179 tube wells damaged by continuous flooding in Bangladesh. With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, disinfection services began to be provided for tube wells where water receded. Families do not have to worry about going to other places to collect drinking water.
In a tweet on July 28, climate activist Greta Thunberg announced that she will donate 100,000 euros to the Bangladesh Rural Development Committee (BRAC), ActionAid Bangladesh and other humanitarian organizations in Bangladesh and India working in the field:
Right now millions are suffering from extreme flooding fueled by the climate crisis in India and Bangladesh – already hit by the devastation of cyclone Amphan and COVID-19.
My foundation will donate € 100,000 prize money to BRAC, Goonj, Action Aid India- and Bangladesh. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/oOMZ3jrhsV
– Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 28, 2020
Right now, millions of people are experiencing extreme floods fueled by the climate crisis in India and Bangladesh, already affected by the devastation of Cyclone Amphan and COVID-19.
My foundation will donate 100,000 euros in prizes to BRAC, Goonj, Action Aid India- and Bangladesh. 1/3.
Since July, Bangladeshi students have been participating in a digital campaign in partnership with Fridays for the Future – Bangladesh, Thunberg's national chapter of the climate movement, with portraits of them displaying placards with requests and slogans such as “no future underwater” and “mother nature must not be drowned.”
#RT @GretaThunberg: RT @FFF_Bangladesh: Today's, FFF Barishal has addressed the biggest problem facing Bangladesh right now in their online strike. They want Permanent solution & recovery for flood affected people. @GretaThunberg @ Fridays4future #Digi… pic.twitter.com/VL2TbluCWK
– Travis 4 Climate🌎 (@ Travis4Climate) August 15, 2020
There is no future underwater.
Mother Nature must not be drowned.
Let's save mother earth.
The floods must be stopped quickly.
Stop the floods fast.
Today, Friday for the Future – Barishal addressed the biggest problem facing Bangladesh right now in its online strike. They want a permanent solution and recovery for people affected by the floods.
Yet for many Bangladeshis, these tragedies have become normalized cyclical events that people endure every year:
“Every time a flood comes, it destroys our house, crops and takes the lives of many. Everything is washed away by the mighty river Padma, leaving us without shelter, food or livelihood. But life goes on. ”Https://t.co/RyUoCMet45
– The Third Pole (@third_pole) August 15, 2020
Bangladesh floods displace most vulnerable along the Padma
A third of Bangladesh was flooded in this year's monsoon, and those who live on the sandbanks of Padma have nowhere to go.
“Every time a flood hits, it destroys our house, crops and takes the lives of many. Everything is washed away by the mighty Padma River and leaves us without shelter, food or sustenance. But life goes on ”.