Bangladesh monsoon victims increase. Caritas mobilizes for emergency
by Sumon Corraya

Dozens of victims throughout South Asia, millions of displaced people and considerable damage to homes and means of transport.  Caritas is focusing on the districts of Bandarban and Gaibanda, where the situation is dramatic.  At the beginning money will be distributed;  then help to rebuild homes.



Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Victims, displaced persons and damage are on the rise: these are the dramatic conditions in Bangladesh, where the toll of victims killed by violent monsoon rains is increasing by the hour. 

In total, there are 21 districts devastated by rainfall (out of a total of 64).  Villages swept away, flooded streets, closed schools, add to the image of a country on its knees.  Faced with this emergency, Caritas is organizing relief efforts to relieve the victims of the disaster.

The South Asian nations that overlook the Bay of Bengal are being lashed by powerful gusts of wind and rain that are taking a huge toll, both in terms of human lives and property damage. 

In Bangladesh, there are about thirty victims, including four children, and millions of people left homeless.  The districts most affected are those of: Chattogram, Bandarban, Khagrachari, Rangamati, Cox's Bazar, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Sylhet, Bogura, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Feni, Brahmanbaria, Sherpur, Tangail, Jamalpur and Sirajganj  .

About 73,400 houses and 36 thousand hectares of harvest have been lost.  Among the people forced to flee there is Monir Hossian, a farmer from Gaibanda, who tells AsiaNews: "I, my wife and our five children have found refuge in a nearby school". 

The man protests: "Since we arrived five days ago, we have not received any help from the government.  We live in inhuman conditions, we have no food.  Please do something for us. " 

Rokeya Begum reports that she and her family are receiving canned food from an NGO, "while the government is doing nothing.  We suffer from lack of food, drinking water and tents ".

James Gomes, regional director of Caritas Chattogram [ex Chittagong, ed.] reports that the social arm of the Catholic Church is organizing relief efforts in the area of ​​Bandarban and Gaibanda.  "The situation is very critical due to the high risk of landslides in the hilly areas.  The waters of the Sangu and Matamuhuira rivers are overflowing and have created dangerous areas.  Furthermore the landslides that took place along the Ruma and Thanchi roads interrupted communications and at the moment it is not possible to reach the center of the district ".

The Catholic official explains that "at the beginning we will give each of the 1,200 victims of Bandarban around 5,500 taka in cash (59 euros), because their situation is truly dramatic.  Later on we will guarantee help to rebuild houses swept away by the monsoon ".

Pintu William Gomes, director of disaster management projects at Caritas Bangladesh, said the operations will be concentrated mainly in the areas designated by the regional director, "which are the areas where the population is suffering the most".  Finally he assures: "Within a few days we will start the rescue activity".