Heavy Flooding in India and Bangladesh

According to plan Canada, only 7 percent of the secondary school comprise of girls in these regions due to the disruptive nature of the floods.

Source - Anuwar Hazarika via Reuters

Source - Anuwar Hazarika via Reuters

It appears that rain can be both a blessing and a curse in Bangladesh and India. Crops, livestock, fisheries, and forest products accounted for 12.43 percent of Bangladesh's total GDP in FY 2019-20, according to the Bangladesh Bank, making rain an important part of the country's growing economy. In India, agriculture provides a living for more than 58 percent of the country's population.

While water is one of the most important contributions to agriculture and food security, nothing beats a little rain to save a farmer the labor and cost of watering an entire farm. However, when it comes to Bangladesh from June to October every year during the monsoon season, the rainfall becomes so heavy that by the end of the season, one-third of the country is flooded.

When it comes to low-lying communities such as Hatibandha, Bangladesh, this often means that they have to base their life on heavy floods. With students having to reach school on boats during the flooding season and the unsafe nature of the journey, it has led to a low number of females getting an education.  According to plan Canada, only 7 percent of the secondary school consists of girls in these regions due to the disruptive nature of the floods.

As of this year's monsoon rains, the northeastern parts of Bangladesh and India are facing the worst floods it has seen in two decades. With nearly 110 people dead and 9.5 million people are left stranded with no access to food or drinking water due to non-stop rain for days.

While people in both countries expect the floods around June each year, this year the downpour started as early as May due to climate change. With this year's rainfall catching people by surprise, many are left looking for dry shelter, fresh water and food. However, according to a reporter from Al Jazeera, in rural areas, people are suffering even worse with over-crowdedness and very little relief.

In order to assist aid to the flood victims in Bangladesh, UNICEF is currently seeking $2.5 million as 4 million people including 1.6 million children are left stranded and in need of urgent help. In some areas of Bangladesh, the military has also dropped sacks of relief supplies in order to aid with the lack of food supplies.

In the heavily affected parts of India, the army and paramilitary troops have started evacuating people as the flood in India has cut off three districts in the Barak Valley.

Natural disasters such as heavy rainfalls which cause flooding have become common in many Asia-Pacific countries due to the largely growing population and a high proportion of people living in poverty leaving them vulnerable when it comes to strong winds and heavy rainfalls.

While these floods make headlines every year due to their catastrophic nature, drastic measures are required to prevent further damage in the future. While people in these areas may have grown accustomed to heavy rainfall, there is no way to grow accustomed to losing homes, livelihoods, and having their daily lives disrupted year after year.

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