Floods in Bangladesh- Composition
Floods in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a flood-prone area. Many rivers originated, especially, from the Himalayan range pass through this country and fall into the Bay of Bengal. During monsoon excessive rainfall and acutely flowing water coming from upward overflow the banks of the river of this low land. As a result, floods in Bangladesh are a common occurrence. Almost every year flood visits this land bringing about immeasurable sufferings and pain for its inhabitants.
There are many causes of floods in Bangladesh. Excessive rainfall and snow-melting on mountain are the main reasons of flood. Every year huge amount of sediment gathers on the river bed that eventually helps to easily overflow the river bank and causes flood. Moreover, insufficient lakes and canals and adverse effect of Farakka barrage are also responsible for floods in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is an agricultural country. Its agriculture largely depends on water from natural source. Thus a typical flood that inundates the farming lands depositing useful silts is beneficial for the country. But in most cases, the floods in Bangladesh appears to people with its horrible appearance causing great havoc to their lives and property. Crops are badly damaged; houses are destroyed with necessaries being washed away. Trees are uprooted and crops are totally vanished leaving people open to poverty, starvation and famine. As communication are disrupted, normal flow of life as well as trade and commerce are greatly hampered. Distressed people have to lead a subhuman life without food, shelter, clothing, medicine and security. National economy faces a great challenge due to disruption of economic activities.
The after-effect of flood is no less dangerous. Cruel flood leaves people vulnerable to different water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, dysentery etc which causes death to many people. Prices of daily necessaries go up. As a result, poor distressed people lead a miserable life. Famine may also break out somewhere.
The people of Bangladesh faced terrible flood again and again. But the most horrible experiences they gained were during the floods of 1988 and 1998. Of them, the most recent flood of 1998 broke all the records of the past. It was a longest lasting flood and water level exceptionally rose so high that it inundated 32 districts of Bangladesh which is 66% of the country’s total land area. About 30 million people were affected and 1,050 people died during that flood where 575,000 hectares of crops were totally damaged and 16,000 km of roads flooded disconnecting all out communications. This statistics, at a glance, really highlights the drastic picture of the floods of Bangladesh in 1998.
Harmful effects of flood not only push people to unending misery but break the backbone of the country’s economy. So government has to take preventive measures as well as measures during and after the flood to minimize the loss. Rivers dredging should be continued regularly. More rivers and canals should be excavated. Constructing more sluice gates and outlets at strategic points may solve this problem to a big extent. Necessary dams and embankments should be built along the coastal belts. Besides, more flood shelters have to be set up at suitable places.
During and after the flood, relief operation is essential both by the government and voluntary organizations. It is also moral duty of the affluent people of the society to stand by the flood victims.
The people of Bangladesh survive by ever-struggling against different natural calamities. So, though flood is considered to be a curse, people of this country are not daunted by the cruel clutch of this disaster. We expect they will ever win over this natural adversity by their indomitable spirit and strength of mind.