The Bangladesh Flood
Located in South Asia, the Bangladesh flood resulted in devastating damage, sweeping over the entire country. Bangladesh has a history of venerability of heavy flooding under its belt and all floods happen for a reason...
What are the possible causes of the Bangladesh Flood?
Bangladesh has long been prone to flooding by natural causes. Being only 2-13 meters above sea level, it is one of the lowest lying countries in the world and is believed to become completely underwater by 2100 (Kinda, 2008). Bangladesh also experiences regular monsoon seasons and receives the snow melting down from the Himalayas, again, rising sea levels. Other factors contributing to the natural causes of Bangladesh's flood, is the fact that Bangladesh lies across a huge delta. This results in a huge amount of water being channeled into one river by the three main contributors: Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna (GCSE Bitesized).
Coupled with humans increasing the deforestation in India, this makes Bangladesh liable to flooding.Trees and plants soak up moisture through interception, but when they are gone the water may become saturated surface runoff and flow into the rivers, thus rising the water levels. Regardless of some of these points, it has been proven to sometimes be beneficial to the farmers who produce rice and jupe. Bangladesh has had one of the most rapid population increases, ballooning by up to 3.5% (Index Mundi, 2008).This develops a high demand for fresh water for the population growth of people and the building of water wells. 100,000 new water wells were built and these have been partially blamed for causing the land to sink 2.5 cm a year, lowering the water table. Flood planes' chances of overflowing with excessive discharge is significantly risen, and floods are likely to happen. Also, being an LEDC and hugely in debt, the government does'n't fund any flooding- prevention systems. Although, if there ever was flood prevention precautions in place, it would have been extremely outdated and faulty. Bangladesh has the inability to support themselves, therefore relies on others and, as a result, has become corrupt. Virtually no money has been prioritised for long term flooding prevention. All of these causes build up to devastating effects.
What are the effects of the Bangladesh Flood?
The Bangladesh flood had had countless detrimental effects on the country but contrastingly, it has also brought together international help with the disaster. The flood damaged homes, possessions and had a huge disruption to communications. 23.5 million people were left homeless, more than 1000 schools were damaged, and 11,000 km of road was damaged, blocking most communication abilities. The health problems quickly became extreme. Wells polluted with dead bodies and cattle soon spiraled into wide-spread diseases. The buildup of waste unfortunately could not be fixed quickly due to the low income Bangladesh has, and soon, one quarter of a million people had diarrhea (this was made worse by cramped living conditions due to the huge home loss). 1040 people were dead following the flooding. Initially, it was hard to get help because most of Bangladesh's communication (Trains, roads, bridges) was broken off after the flood. Bangladesh's most successful industry factories had to be shut down and the production went down 20% (Country, 2012). By not being able to produce goods, Bangladesh's economy was severely harmed at a critical point. In contrast to all of this, international relief was finally received through the form of 35,000 tonnes of food aid for the people. The Bangladesh government gave out free seeds to the farmers, who were hit hard by the flooding, after loosing all their crops and cattle. Finally, flood retention basins and shelters will soon be introduced and plans to cope with future floods have been put forward and will soon be taken further.