COMMENTARY: Stand by the disaster-hit people, drop rest
July 28th, 2020 at 3:29 pm
COMMENTARY: Stand by the disaster-hit people, drop rest

Nazrul Islam;

Bangladesh has been bearing the brunt of its second natural disaster amid the novel coronavirus outbreak that has already increased the rate of poverty in this South Asian country.

A month after the tropical cyclone Amphan wreaked havoc in the south-western districts, monsoon flooding in the north and central areas have made the lives of millions more difficult amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The onrush of waters from the upstream India have swelled the rivers in the downstream and gradually inundated localities in the central parts in the past month.

Beginning in late June, the flooding has affected more than 4.7 million people, marooning nearly 1 million. At least 41 people, including 31 children died. Many families were moved to shelters with government food and cash supplies have been dispatched. As of now, the government distributed 7,147 tonnes of rice, 82,012 packets of dry foods, 20.21 million takas in cash, 3.4 million takas for purchasing baby foods, 5.7 million takas for fodders among others.

Flooded homes in a northern district – photo taken from Facebook post of Ashish Majumder

But these appear to be inadequate in the aftermath of the flooding and may be more difficult to fight the possible threat of waterborne diseases, reconstruction of homes and getting back to normal.

Beside the government assistance, they will be in desperate need for assistance from the private organizations, charities and the richer section of the society.

As Bangladesh is celebrating one of the largest Muslim religious festival of Eid-al-Adha in a few days keeping a large section of its people in distress. The well-off people are visiting the cattle markets or ordering online to buy sacrificial animals to celebrate the festival on August 1. But it is equally important to help those who are trapped in poverty triggered by back to back disasters.

Therefore, we appeal to all to stand by the victims of the triple disasters – floods, cyclone and Covid-19. Helping those people at the time of distress will be the real celebration, the real sacrifice.

Let us give up our Eid shopping too and gift the cash to those hanging between life and death.

Think which will bring you greater blessings. Its only this time quite like that you will make the gesture of love and sympathy for the fellow beings, and celebrate next year. Eid Mubarak!

Bangladeshi journalist
Nazrul Islam is a journalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The writer can be reached by e-mail ; [email protected]