Bangladesh: 3.5 million children need clean water as floods continue


UNICEF’s representative to Bangladesh said on Friday 15 children have drowned while 3.5 million are currently in urgent need of clean drinking water, as devastating flash floods continues to sweep the country.

“That’s a staggering number of children and an increase over the last couple of days. Huge areas are fully underwater and are disconnected from safe drinking water and food supplies,” Sheldon Yett said.

Yett, speaking at a press briefing in Geneva said that “children need help right now”.

Government and aid agencies have rushed to provide relief including water and other supplies after flash flooding across a quarter of the South Asian nation.

The floods have also disrupted health facilities, shut schools and disrupted malnutrition treatment for hundreds of children, Yett said.

Cases of diarrhoea have risen to 2,700 as of the middle of this week, he added.

Authorities in Bangladesh and neighbouring India have warned of a risk of water bourne disease epidemic caused by weeks of relentless flood in both countries.

In total, more than 4.5 million people have been stranded and dozens killed in Bangladesh, many in the worst flooding in the Sylhet region in the northeast for more than 100 years.

In the eastern Indian state of Assam, Indian air force helicopters have been deployed to drop food and other supplies to cut-off communities. (Source: CNA)