Water levels continue to rise as worst monsoon rains in over a century submerge most of northeast Bangladesh

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- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/ghgbzg/

Monsoon rains - the worst in 122 years - have inundated major rivers in northeastern Bangladesh and submerged thousands of homes, affecting 4.3 million people. But worse is likely yet to come as water levels continue to rise and access to areas affected is hampered, warned Oxfam today.

Thousands of stranded people are waiting on the roads and in temporary shelters. They urgently need food, drinking water, cash support, and sanitation services. But the lack of boats is making reaching those affected difficult.

Ashish Damle, Oxfam Country Director in Bangladesh said “Tens of thousands of people in 10 districts are now trapped as the flood-hit areas are reaching their peak point. Thousands more are at risk of losing their homes and potentially lives as the water level continues to rise in the next few days.”

Climate change has worsened flooding in Bangladesh and India over the past few years. Heavy rainfall in some of the northern and north-eastern regions of Bangladesh along with adjoining states of Assam, Meghalaya and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal in India is likely to continue for the next 72 hours, putting potentially thousands of lives more at risk.

Surma, Kushiara, Sari, Luva, and Dhalai rivers, which stretch across Sylhet, Sunamganj, Moulivazar, Habiganj, Netrakona, and Brahmanbariahave districts, continue to rise - some above dangerous levels. The flooding water has submerged up to 80 per cent of some districts - cutting power and internet and grounding flights. In Chhatak upazila in Sunamganj, several hundred houses, more than 200 educational institutions, and at least 100 fish enclosures have been totally submerged just in the past few days.

Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique, the humanitarian programme director of Oxfam in Bangladesh said “Oxfam, together with our local partners, is responding in the affected areas, supporting people with cash assistance, water and sanitation services, including repairing tube wells and installing latrines. But the situation is going out of control very rapidly, and we need more support to scale up our operations.”

Oxfam aims to reach 150,000 people with lifesaving water, cash and other services, but urgently needs $10 million to scale up operations.


Spokespeople available in Bangladesh and India.

For more information or interviews please contact:

Sophie Bowell / sbowell@oxfam.org.uk / +44 (0) 7810 814980

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