Main Navigation


Eye on the ground: South Asia floods


Thousands are dead and millions are affected in the worst flooding to hit South Asia in decades. Red Cross and Red Crescent are on the ground helping those in need.

Friday September 1, 2017

Share this article:

More than 1200 people have died and more than 41 million people have been affected across Southern Nepal, Northern India and Bangladesh in the worst flooding to hit the region in decades. The scale and size of the disaster is staggering and the humanitarian needs are enormous.

Some villages across the region have been completely washed away, others remain beneath a watery coffin, while even more have been completely cut off by the floodwaters, making the delivery of much needed and life-saving aid near impossible.

One-third of the entire country of Bangladesh now lays submerged under water. Buildings in Mumbai, India's financial capital are starting to collapse, killing those who are unable to escape.

Across the region those who have been affected the most are the poorest. With their homes and livelihoods washed away,  they are now forced to live in makeshift camps and disease is starting to spread.

Flooded streets have become communal washing and bathing areas. This makes the risk of contracting deadly water-borne diseases extremely high.

Widespread damage to crops and farmland has greatly reduced the amount of food. For now and into the forseeable future tens of thousands of people will have to rely on food distribution from aid agencies. In Brahmaputra, evacuees from Chor Asadia village are already desperate for food. They have to swim out to teams of volunteers of the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society who distribute food by boat, just so they are able to eat that day.

Some were lucky enough to escape with some food, but this unfortunately it will not last them long.

As sheets of record rain continue to pummel the region, fears are growing that the already devastating death toll could rise.

But Red Cross and Red Crescent are on the ground helping people. In Nepal, we are providing ready-to-eat meals to flood-affected communities.

We also have search and rescue teams who travel by boat to reach communities that have been stranded by flood waters.

Once they reach those communities, they are able to distribute essential aid such as clean water, food and equipment to cook it with.

We're also looking at longer-term solutions to help those who have lost their homes. Shelter specialists like Arwin Soelaksono are providing advice.

Even the local elephants are being used to help transport people to safety.

But so much more needs to be done. With the Monsoon season set to last until September there are concerns conditions could continue to deteriorate. 

 

To help in times of emergency

Every donation we receive for our Disaster Relief and Recovery work helps Australian Red Cross continue to be there for communities in the wake of a disaster, both in Australia and further afield. Please donate now.