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Bangladesh Humanitarian Background

Disasters, Conflicts and Migration

Natural Disasters

Yes / No

Comments / Details

Drought

YesProlonged droughts are not common in Bangladesh. However dry spells or `crop droughts’ can imply enormous suffering for the poor, especially for those depending on rain fed subsisting farming. Much of the western part of the country can be affected by droughts, with the northwest being the most vulnerable

Earthquakes

YesBangladesh is divided into three earthquake seismic zones with the highest seismic activity in zone 1, covering the northern districts from Kurigram to Moulvibazar. Experts have been forewarning a 6-7-magnitude earthquake to occur at any time, which would cause destruction and casualties in a country that is ill prepared for such a disaster

Epidemics

YesDiarrhoea - The number of incidences of diarrhoea is high throughout the year but the crisis period is from July-September and is exacerbated by receding floodwaters.

Extreme Temperatures

YesDuring the winter season, cold weather causes suffering among the elderly, homeless, young children and the vulnerable poor. The northern part of the country is particularly affected

Flooding

YesFloods are an annual phenomenon with the most severe occurring during the months of July-August. The floods of 1988, 1998 and 2004 were particularly catastrophic, resulting in large-scale destruction and loss of life. Women, children and the extreme poor are particularly vulnerable. Flash floods are pre-monsoon, sudden-onset floods caused by heavy and sustained rainfall. Early flash floods cause a particular risk to the boro crop in the Sylhet haor area. Riverbank erosion causes a severe threat to the livelihoods of poor people living along the Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna Rivers, People living on the chars are particularly vulnerable and are forced to move frequently due to river erosion.

Insect Infestation

n/an/a

Mudslides

n/an/a

Volcanic Eruptions

n/an/a

High Waves / Surges

n/an/a

Wildfires

n/an/a

High Winds

YesCyclones affect the coastal districts of Bangladesh and cause tremendous damage to/loss of: housing, agricultural crops, draught animals, food stocks and sources of drinking water. Fishermen and those with poor housing conditions are most likely to suffer injury or death. Bangladesh also suffers from tornadoes and nor’westers, which mostly occur in the central and north western area of the country during the pre- and post-monsoon period.

Other Comments

Monga refers to a near famine situation faced by many poor households, particularly in the northern region of Bangladesh, such as in the vast car lands of Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The main reason for the occurrence of monga is the pre-harvest acute employment crisis among poor agrarian communities during the months of October and November in areas dependent on the traditional agriculture. Monga is characterized by high prices of essential commodities, lack of work for agricultural day labourers, hunger and malnutrition, sale of livestock and household belongings, advanced sale of labour, migration of adult males, and increasing money lending against very high interest rates. The occurrence of natural disasters in the preceding months exacerbates the intensity of monga.


Man-Made Issues

Civil Strife

n/an/a

International Conflict

n/an/a

Internally Displaced Persons

n/an/a

Refugees Present

YesIn 1991, some 250,000 refugees from Myanmar's Northern Rakhine state fled by boat and on foot to neighbouring Bangladesh, where they were sheltered in 20 camps in the Cox's Bazar district. While the majority of these refugees eventually returned home, some 20,500 people – mostly Rohingya, a Muslim minority – remained in two of the original camps. Conditions in these camps are bad, with many refugees living in overcrowded shelters in desperate need of repair. Frequent heavy rains inundate the area, further damaging shelters and spreading disease. Harassment and discrimination add to the plight of the Rohingya refugees, the majority of whom say that they do not want to return home until there is peace and democracy in Myanmar. The UNHCR has expanded its routine protection monitoring in Cox's Bazar to address the problems of sexual and gender-based violence as well as trafficking of women and children. The UN refugee agency continues to work with governments, other UN agencies and non-governmental organisations to try and find a durable solution for the Rohingya refugees.

Landmines / UXO Present

n/an/a

Other Comments

n/a

For more detailed database on disasters by country, please see the Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters:

EMDAT information on Bangladesh

Calamities and Seasonal Affects

Seasonal Affects on Transport

Transport

Comments

From (month) to (month)

Primary Road Transport

Availability of trucks for transportation of material is affected due to the mango season which clashes with the Boro SeasonMay - Jul

Secondary Road Transport

Mangoes are grown and available on the eastern part of the country like Rajshahi. Being a perishable product, it fetches more rates to the transporters for delivery, which in turn affects the movement of the crops in Bori seasons.Jun - Jul

Rail Transport

Rail is another mode of transportation, which is used for transporting relief material. With the construction of the Jamuna Bridge however road transportation is first choice when delivering relief material. Movement of trains is affected during floods due to water logging on the tracks.Jul - Oct

Air Transport

Air transport is seldom used for distribution of relief material due to the presence of a good road network. Air services are sometimes affected due to poor visibility conditions on account of severe monsoon or weather conditions in winter.Nov - Feb

Waterway Transport

Port operations are hampered only during extreme floods. In fact most of the relief material into Bangladesh is transported by sea. Inland river transportation is used to transport relief material in Bangladesh due to the presence of a river port and a good river transport network.Jan - Dec

 

Road transportation is the most effective and widely used form of transportation for transporting relief material. Road network connects all areas of Bangladesh and construction of the Jamuna Bridge has eased the traffic congestion as well as eliminated bottlenecks in delivery of relief material.
Material can now be delivered in any part of Bangladesh in a span of 48 to 72 hours.

Seasonal Affects on Storage and Handling (economic, social, climate…)

Activity

Comments

From <month> to <month>

Storage

LSDs and CSDs, the governmental storage capacities (operated by the Food Directorate) may – depending on their location and the quality of the site – be flooded during massive floods or cyclonic events.

Jan - Dec

Handling

n/a

n/a

Other

n/a

n/a

Most of the Silos, Central Stores Depots (CSD) and Local Supply Depots (LSD) have been constructed after taking in to account the flood water level in the respective areas. The Directorate of Food has set up a mechanism of an early warning system during flood situations, which enables the Local Supply Depots as well as the Central Stores Depots to adopt contingency measures in such a situation. The Water Development Board passes regular information on water levels due to incessant rains and floods to the Directorate of Food who in turn passes on this information to the districts. During an alarm situation, the Central Stores Depots as well as the Local Supply Depots erect a Baffle Wall up to 3 feet at the entrance of the godowns/warehouses belonging to them to prevent water from entering inside.

Measures undertaken by the godowns/warehouses prevent any damage to relief as well as normal material. In the year August September 2004 although flood water went above the floor level of 25 godowns/warehouses the situation did not warrant need to repack stored material. Moreover Silos, Central Stores Depots as well as Local Supply Depot stock adequate stock of materials at any given time, which eliminates risk of to ittle availability of relief material in seasonal bottlenecks as well as during unforeseen calamities.

Capacity and Contacts for In-Country Emergency Response

Government

For information on Bangladesh government contact details, please see the following link: 

4.1 Bangladesh Government Contact List

Humanitarian Community

For information on Bangladesh humanitarian community contact details, please see the following link: 

4.2 Bangladesh Humanitarian Agency Contact List

For information on Bangladesh humanitarian background additional details, please see the following document:

Bangladesh NGO map

Bangladesh Humanitarian Additional Information

Bangladesh Country Profile additional info

Note: The information provided in the attached documents, which has been taken from the old DLCA, does not match the structure of the new LCA and is therefore provided separately.