Cyclone Amphan leaves thousands of Bangladeshi without drinking water
by Sumon Corraya

Sea water has invaded collection basins, wells and aquifers, causing a health catastrophe. Many people fall ill with dysentery. The government is unable to intervene in the most affected areas. Caritas distributes a chlorine purifier invented in Switzerland.

Satkhira (AsiaNews) - Cyclone Amphan has seriously damaged the country's water sources, and a large part of the population, especially in coastal areas, no longer has access to drinking water.

Amphan hit Bangladesh and India on May 20, wreaking enormous devastation. About twenty people lost their lives; thousands have had to abandon their homes. This is the monsoon season in the Indian subcontinent. In the afternoon, western India will be hit by Nisarga, a new cyclone from the Arabian Sea.

Whipped up by Amphan, sea water invaded collection basins, wells and aquifers, causing a health catastrophe in Bangladesh. “The lack of drinking water is creating more problems than that of food. Many people are falling ill with dysentery or have intestinal problems, " Satkhira resident Samsur Rahaman tells AsiaNews.

Arshed Ali, head of the public health engineering department, explains that wells and aquifers are cleaned with mobile treatment plants. Along with tanks of water, purification tablets are also distributed: "The problem is that many areas of the country are not accessible, and we can only reach the shelters that house the displaced people".

The Catholic Church is also making its contribution. Mamun Sirajum Manir Chowdhury, responsible for a water sanitation program launched by Caritas of Khulna, says that his agency aided 22,000 people by distributing a chlorine purifier invented in Switzerland.