Take lessons from the past to stay better prepared for floods
Tribune Editorial


We have seen it before, but tragically it happens over and over again.

Rains and overflowing rivers have hit the north of Bangladesh hard by flooding villages and leaving many people marooned without shelter, supplies of food, or drinking water.

The destruction of crops, seedbeds, and fisheries has affected hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Vital roads going under water means people cannot help themselves unless relief comes to them first.

Bangladesh has always been a flood-prone country. The flooding of rural areas, and terrible water-logging in major cities, often bring life to a standstill, damage the economy, and bring misery to the entire population.

We, as a nation, need to be better prepared.

It is up to the government to speed up relief efforts across the country, and ensure clean water, food, medical supplies, and other necessities are available in flood-stricken areas.

Increased co-ordination between various agencies and within the government will go a long way in getting relief to the right areas as quickly and efficiently as possible. Efforts must also be beefed up on repairing embankments and damaged infrastructure.

Stocks of emergency supplies should also be built up for remote areas where aid may not reach on time.

Climate change means we can expect more intense storms in the future. Disaster resilience is key -- we need to work on disaster-resilient roads, bridges, paved trading areas, integrated water supply systems, efficient power supply systems, and proper drainage and sanitation facilities.

Let us work towards a long-term, sustainable solution, and not just ad hoc measures every time the country experiences flooding due to too much rainfall.

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