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Heavy rains and floods in Cox’s Bazar

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Four hundred villages in Cox’s Bazar have been flooded after days of rain. Most people in the area say they have never seen severe floods like this in the last decade. Houses are damaged; Springs, agricultural lands and people’s livelihoods are submerged in water. Many families have been evacuated to safe shelters but approximately three hundred thousand people are suffering from lack of food and clean water. For most communities in Cox’s Bazar who rely on agriculture, it will be difficult to overcome the aftermath of the floods.

As water level continues to rise, many areas become inaccessible. Although relief assistance is provided in different levels, there are communities who cannot reach distribution points.

Houses in the Rohingya camps have been submerged in heavy rains. Camps are in danger of landslides as they are constructed in the hilly area. Houses built of bamboo and tarpaulin on sandy hills become naturally fragile in the pouring rain. Families are exhausted and emotionally vulnerable after having to face multiple disasters.

A similar catastrophe during the rainy season each year highlights the need for a little long-term planning. In four years, the Rohingya refugee crisis has mostly been forgotten. The Government of Bangladesh is constantly striving for a solution, but foreign political and economic assistance is urgently needed for a long-term solution.

Caritas Bangladesh as part of the Global Caritas Internationalis network is present in the ground from the start. Caritas provides emergency shelter support for families who lost their shelters due to the heavy rain and landslides. Our community centers provide safe space for people with special needs, pregnant women, older people, and children. Caritas also provides psychosocial support, protection, and hygiene items.

Bangladesh faces unprecedented climate change challenges, while still battling high rate of new COVID-19 cases. To tackle the climate change related incidents the world needs strong, global, and ambitious actions. It is time for all countries to act: countries must increase climate ambition, build resilience and decrease emissions.