The flood situation in Sylhet region has been deteriorating over the last 10 days with water levels rising in all major rivers; the incessant rain has caused overflowing of major water bodies. There is serious danger of landslides in the hilly regions and more than 100,000 people have been marooned across several upazilas. We are informed that flooding of haor areas will cause another round of loss in production of Aus paddy planted across 3,000 acres, which have already been inundated and farmers will bear the brunt of crop loss. Besides disrupting day-to-day life, thousands of people are now facing problems with cooking as more areas go under water. Although we are informed that emergency relief is being distributed, the relief and rescue operations must be geared up even more. And it would be best to prepare now for post-flood relief and rehabilitation operations which will bring diseases as flood waters recede.
As with every major flood, people in the affected areas are likely to face problems with safe drinking water and hence we hope authorities are already mapping flooded areas to make these available. What we do not want is the supply of expired medication, instances of which happened during the floods last August. Hundreds of thousands of people will require access to essential drugs and survival food kits. Farmers will require financial assistance to defray the costs of lost crops, and all this requires detailed planning and execution. We hope that, given our significant experience and expertise in handling natural disasters, the administration is ensuring that the contingency plans are in place so that the flood-affected people can return home and be rehabilitated as soon as the flood waters recede.