South Asia’s worst flooding in a decade kill thousands and decimates millions of hectares of crops

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(The Independent) Millions of hectares of crops have been destroyed across south Asia following the worst flooding in a decade, prompting aid agencies to warn of a looming food and financial crisis.

As floodwaters receded, one aid executive said: “The scale of the devastation is hard to comprehend”.

More than 1,400 people died in the floods, which swept the region over a period of two months.

The squalid conditions created after two major rivers broke their banks in northern Bangladesh have left around 13,000 of people suffering from an outbreak of diarrhoea and other conditions.

Tens of thousands have been left living in tents, schools and makeshift shelters.

Millions of hectares of crops have been destroyed across south Asia following the worst flooding in a decade, prompting aid agencies to warn of a looming food and financial crisis.

As floodwaters receded, one aid executive said: “The scale of the devastation is hard to comprehend”.

More than 1,400 people died in the floods, which swept the region over a period of two months.

Tens of thousands have been left living in tents, schools and makeshift shelters.

Save the Children India’s chief executive, Thomas Chandy, said another crisis was on the horizon, after more than 2.4 million hectares of cropland across India, Bangladesh and Nepal had been decimated by the flooding.

“Across flood-affected parts of Bangladesh, India and Nepal, millions of people have lost their main source of income, whether it be from destroyed crops and dead livestock, damage suffered to local businesses or because they are displaced,” he said.

“Most often it’s the poorest families who are worst affected, the ones who really cannot afford a month or two without any income.”

He added: “While it’s positive to see some of the floodwaters receding in Bihar and other areas, enabling people to move around and go to see what’s left of their homes, the scale of devastation is hard to comprehend.”

Some communities have been totally wiped out, with not a building left undamaged, he said.

The agency estimated 17 million children needed help with protection, health care and basic nutrition in India alone.

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