Villagers transport a cow via cart during a flood in southern Bangladesh. Credits: Caritas Bangladesh

Villagers transport a cow via cart during a flood in southern Bangladesh.
Credits: Caritas Bangladesh

Caritas is appealing for 414,227 euro (US $596,569) to help Bangladeshi families stranded by severe floods.

Incessant monsoon rains since late July 2011 have inundated 13 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts. The floods have driven thousands of people from their homes to shelters in nearby schools or on higher ground. The continuous rain, combined with inadequate drainage systems in these areas, have aggravated the situation.

“For over a week, families have been living in overcrowded flood shelters and surviving with minimum or no food or sanitation facilities,” says Dr. Benedict Alo D’Rozario, Executive Director of Caritas Bangladesh. “They are in urgent need of food to prevent starvation, plastic sheets for shelter, and toilets to avoid health hazards like water-borne diseases.”

Working in the regions of Khulna and Mymensingh, Caritas Bangladesh plans to give rice, cooking oil, and other food to 14,322 families. Caritas will also distribute plastic sheeting to over 6,000 households and build 194 latrines to meet immediate sanitation needs.

Cooperating with the government, Caritas Bangladesh will pay flood-affected people to repair damaged houses, latrines, roads, and embankments. “This will be the main source of income for the poorest families, who will not have any employment opportunities once they return from the flood shelters,” says Alo.

“The demand for food aid and other help is increasing fast,” continues Alo. “If we act now, we can save many people–including women, children, elderly and others living in a near-starvation situation.”

Pllease call Laura Sheahen on 0039 334 2344136 or 0039 06 698 797 55 or email sheahen@caritas.va