After The Flood

Bangladesh Flood 2007

Rivers are the life blood of Bangladesh. Two of the world’s mightiest rivers come together at the heart of Bangladesh to form a massive delta that opens into the Bay of Bengal to the south. To the north lies the world’s tallest mountain range, the Himalayas. The waters from the Himalayas and the soil deposited by these massive rivers makes the land of Bangladesh one of most fertile in the world. On this land 150 million Bangladeshis, most of them subsistence farmers, live their lives.

The rivers that sustain Bangladesh also take away life.

Every year the melting snows of the Himalayas and the monsoon rains bring the potential of massive flooding as the rivers overflow their banks and threaten to submerge much of Bangladesh. This year flooding has affected 40% of Bangladesh and a large swath of India leaving 19 million people displaced and over 500 people dead. Now that the waters have begun to recede the real danger begins. Waterborne illnesses have the potential to claim many more lives in the coming weeks. With tube wells flooded there is an acute shortage of clean drinking water. Already in Bangladesh there have been over 23 thousand reported cases of diarrhea. Many people stranded in the flooded areas are in desperate need of relief and time is running out.


Some of you may remember that my daughter was hospitalized last year while on vacation in Bangladesh. She received excellent medical care and recovered from bacterial diarrhea after a difficult week in the hospital. Diarrhea is a killer of 2.2 million children every year due to poor sanitation in the Third World. In flooded Bangladesh where clean drinking water is scarce diarrhea can become a potent killer of children and of adults. Unlike my daughter the millions of children facing the prospect of this disease today in flooded Bangladesh do not have ready access to proper medical care. Unless that care reaches them in time many will die.


If you would like to help the people of Bangladesh in their time of need, please donate whatever you can through your favorite international charity or through the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). You can also donate through the expatriate Bangladeshi human rights organization Drishtipat.

Oral saline to combat diarrhea costs about 7 cents per life-saving dose in Bangladesh. Your contribution, whatever it is, has the potential to save many lives.




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