Dhaka, Bangladesh
Alleviate woes of flood victims

Alleviate woes of flood victims

The overall flood situation in 21 districts and particularly in northern region, has steadily deteriorated. According to media reports, 30 lakh people have become marooned, 73,000 houses have been damaged, standing crops on 36,000 hectares have gone under water, thousands of villages have been devastated. Alarm bell rings as the experts fear that flood situation may further worsen. Deluge brings annually immense sufferings to thousands of people, especially the impoverished ones, as their vulnerable houses are washed away. Floods wreak havocs with crops and vegetables, paddy seedlings and pisciculture projects. Deluge seems to be unrelenting with fresh areas being engulfed every day. Shortage of food, safe drinking water and medicines expose the flood victims to a lot of sufferings. The situation warrants adequate supply of relief materials, safe drinking water, water purifying tablets and cash among flood-hit people. Economists opine the calamity like floods may stand as an insurmountable roadblock to the economic growth rate of the country. In view of the insufferable plight, loss, damage and destruction caused by the fury of floods, it will not be wise to pass over the opinion of experts as the prognosis of the prophets of doom. The post-flood rehabilitation will also entail massive expenditures. This will certainly impact the economic growth. Food crunch may be another stumbling block. Economists think that food prices may go up because of floods as agricultural production has been hit badly. Not only that, supply has also been affected in different businesses. Communications, transport and storage of products have been damaged. Though the exact figure of the losses is yet to be estimated, its impact on various economic sectors will be enormous and intense. The post-flood rehabilitation programme is, therefore, very vital. There should be also provision for house reconstruction grants or crisis grants for the affected farmers. The flood victims can get bank loans on easy terms and conditions for rebuilding their houses. Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) and Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) should come to the aid of the flood victims. Government must supply seeds and fertilizers and other necessary inputs to the farmers on emergency basis to help them recover from the losses and to restore normalcy in economic activities after the floods. Farmers and the indigent can hardly bear the brunt of calamity one after another that strike the country. Millions of people get dispossessed from the rural areas every time flood and erosion of rivers strike. The floating people flock to the city in quest of jobs creating serious problem. This problem also has to be addressed squarely.

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