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Bangladesh and India hit by worst floods for 20 years

01 July 2022

Dozens of people have been killed and many millions more have been left homeless

Alamy

Rickshaws on a street during heavy rains that caused flooding in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 18 June

Rickshaws on a street during heavy rains that caused flooding in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 18 June

THE worst floods in decades have killed dozens of people in Bangladesh and India, and many millions more have been left stranded and homeless.

Heavy monsoon rains triggered landslides that caused further devastation. Some have been killed by lightning strikes, reports say.

The floods have been blamed on climate change, as experts say that the rains are becoming increasingly unpredictable and rivers are rising above dangerous levels more often.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Guwahati, in Assam, India, the Most Revd John Moolachira, appealed for help from the international community. “Apart from the precious lives, it has also caused widespread damages to houses, crops, property, etc. As the Catholic Church has always stood by the victims of any such disaster, I would exhort you to extend all possible humanitarian help to the people affected by such a disastrous natural calamity irrespective of caste, creed and religion,” he said in a statement.

Christian Aid’s climate-justice policy adviser, based in Bangladesh, Nushrat Rahman Chowdhury, said: “These are the worst floods we’ve seen for 20 years. The severity of these floods has astonished people in the region — and we are no strangers to flooding, here. It’s alarming to see so many people being displaced and their livelihoods washed away. People have been without food, drinking water, and electricity for days.

“Even just evacuating people and taking them to safer places remains a challenge. The heavy rains have broken records, and, in some places, led to devastating landslides such as the hills of Chittagong.

“It’s too early to predict the total costs of these disasters. A comprehensive loss-and-damage assessment, alongside immediate assistance, is needed, with a particular focus on non-economic losses such as loss of health, displacement, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem services, so that the affected can be supported properly.

“The bottom line is that these are devastating — people will need to start from scratch. And the scariest part is we’re seeing these kinds of climate impacts at just 1.1°C of global warming, with emissions continuing to rise.”

Christian Aid is providing grants in cash to help people to buy food and medicine and to repair their homes.

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