Glimmers of hope

Bangladesh recovers from floods and braces for more

Photo Credit: Aminul Sawon

Faced with with one of the worst floods in recent years, families in low-lying areas of Bangladesh have been finding new ways to get through tough times.

Flooding has wreaked havoc in the past two months, affecting more than 1.3 million people. Homes, farms, roads and essential services have been destroyed. Yet people still find the time to help their neighbours survive.

Photo Credit: Aminul Sawon

On a lonely island surrounded by rising flood waters, Shilpi struggles to save her livestock. The cows are her livelihood. They mean the world to her.

Aid organisations partner with government teams to race relief goods and rescue thousands of flood-stricken people like Shilpi.

Photo Credit: Ziaul Haque Himel / IFRC

Vast areas are under water, making villages inaccessible by road. In the flood-ravaged north of the country near India, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society volunteers load boats with food, other emergency goods and equipment to purify water.

It is often the only way to reach stranded, water-logged communities. They deliver supplies for cooking and materials to provide shelter from the harsh summer sun and further rain.

Photo Credit: Ziaul Haque Himel / IFRC 

Here in the Jamalpur District, downstream from the Himalayas, villagers lined up to collect safe drinking water. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society run a water purification system for people affected by floods in the area.

The flooding contaminates water sources. When villagers are forced to use dirty water for cooking, drinking and bathing, it leads to diseases and infections.

Photo credit: Shohan Abdul Jabbar / Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

Households in flooded areas scramble to protect treasured personal possessions and valuables when waters rise to dangerous levels. For many it is a near to impossible task.

Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers provide cash grants of BDT 4000 (approximately USD 48.5) to 4,000 of the most vulnerable families enabling them to purchase household items that they lost in the floods. 

Photo Credit: Shohan Abdul Jabbar /Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

Here, flood waters are receding, but stress and hardship remain for many survivors.

Volunteers with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society offer comfort and emotional support. Kindness and care go a long way in speeding up recovery and helping villagers to prepare for the next disaster.

Heavy rains have resumed in recent days. In flood-prone areas, communities are bracing for more.

For the latest updates, follow us on twitter at @IFRCAsiaPacific