With all the recent attention around the crisis in Haiti, it’s possible to overlook the situation in Bangladesh where– 9 months after a devastating cyclone– nearly 200,000 continue to live in dire conditions.
According to the AFP:
“More than 100,000 people from Khulna and Satkhira districts are still living in inhuman conditions… and an additional 100,000 people have been displaced,” the statement from 18 charities, including Oxfam and Care, said.
Southern Bangladesh is criss-crossed with scores of rivers and small canals which flood twice a day, at high tide.
Since the 1960s, the government has built a network of embankments along these rivers and canals to prevent the salt water flooding low-lying areas, allowing millions of people to cultivate the land.
But during Aila, most these embankments were washed away, allowing saline water to flood in, destroying farmland and forcing people to take shelter on the few embankments and roads that remained intact.
“The response and rehabilitation works that we have been continuing in the affected regions (will be) a waste of limited resources unless embankments are reconstructed and repaired by March 2010,” the statement added.
Areas affected by the cyclone still flood twice daily at high tide, which contaminates drinking water and makes farming impossible, leaving families reliant on emergency food and water distribution.
You can read the full report here.