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Flood Management in Bangladesh: Success and Failure

Flood is an annual natural events in Bangladesh. The life & livelihood of the country largely depends on annual flood. However, sometimes like this year flood become a serious problem for national economy & Environment.

Do you think Bangladesh is successful in flood management?


  1. Zerin Marzan says:

    Although flood is natural phenomenon and in case of Bangladesh it has both positive and negetive impact of success and failure of flood management .
    Success area :
    Recently I surveyed one of char area of Narshindi
    1. Flood is not occuring after 2004 because of river embankment , proper drainage pattern (by connecting with river )
    2. They make a high platform to built houses .
    3. People are prepare with moving stove and life surviving food (rice ,dal, sugar, dried rice etc)
    4. There are some interval embankment to keep balance with the flood water .
    Non Infra structure
    5.People are aware what to do by early warning survives provided by many NGO and Govt. organizations .
    6.They are growing flood resilient crops which can survive 23 days in water invented by BRRI.
    7. Floating agriculture (Baira) during flood is already started .
    8. As an adaptation approach of flood management many people migrate from the area .
    So , compare with the past Bangladesh is capable of managing 85% of flood prone area during disaster both structural and non structural way.
    Failure :
    1.The drainage pattern of Urban region is very poor. So water logging flood is very common during monsoon .
    2.River embankment is not strong enough sometime so by breaking it many villages was flooded according to past history .
    3.Flood mitigation process like response and relief is weaker than the demand .
    4. Shelter centres are not enough to give them proper facility
    5. Pregnant women, Infant, and new mothers are more vulnerable during flood and flood mitigation stages .
    6. Distribution of relief to proper affected people can’t be done due to transparency sometimes .
    we can relate this with recently occurred flood at Jamalpur ,Kurigram , Manikgang, Sirajgong etc
    Besides all the failures flood management is progressing in both infra structural and non infra structural sectors By Govt organization and NGO by raising awareness ,trainning , early warning , by builting dam , embankment .

  2. M A FAISAL M A FAISAL says:

    Every year about 20% of the cultivable areas is inundated more than one meter about 4 to 6 months period.Situation deteriorates during floods of higher magnitude. In Bangladesh Catastrophic floods were occurred in 1987,1988,1998,2004.
    In 1998’s flood, over 60% areas of BD were inundated, over 30 million people were affected, over 4300 km of roads were damaged & food grains lost over 2.2 million & more than 300 industries were inundated.

  3. Abdullah Bin Kasem Abdullah Bin Kasem says:

    Because of the geographic location of Bangladesh in the downstream section of the GBM river system along with the flat topographic nature of the terrain, it is extremely vulnerable to floods. Only 7.5 per cent of the GBM catchment area lies within Bangladesh and thus Bangladesh has to drain water from an area which is 12 times its size. Besides, over 6000 sq km of floodplains in the southern part of the country which lie outside the GBM basins, are also subject to flooding. About 20-22 per cent of the country is flooded in every year because of normal precipitation while about 80 per cent of the country is considered to flood prone.

    During the last century, severe flood occurred in 1954 (26%), 1955 (35%), 1962(26%), 1963 (30%), 1968 (26%), 1969 (29%), 1970 (30%), 1971 (26%), 1974 (37%), 1987 (39%), 1988 (61%), 1998 (68%), 2004 (38%) and 2007 (42%).

    Above these statistics show that, Bangladesh is not successful in flood management. This year, some 3.2 million people across 16 districts of Bangladesh were affected by monsoon-induced floods that began around 22 July. 42 deaths were recorded and 38 officially confirmed, including mostly drowned minors, as nearly 7400 people sought refuge in 69 flood shelters. Some 250000 houses were destroyed or damaged.


  4. Uttom kundu Uttom kundu says:

    Two things have become clear. First, we have failed to prevent another major flood. Second, we are not adequately prepared to cope with the consequences of flood.
    The question that naturally arises is what has happened to Bangladesh’s flood control efforts? It is now several decades that Bangladesh has been regularly spending about 20 percent of her budget on water development projects. Numerous Flood Action Programs (FAP) have been implemented. Yet, it remains that we do not have a handle on the ‘flood-problem.’
    Not only that. In some respects, the situation seems to be worsening. For example, we are now witnessing quick recurrence of major flood. The country was yet to recover from the shock of 1987 and 1988 floods before being hit by the current, 1998 flood.
    Second, this year’s flood has displayed certain additional alarming characteristics. One of these is the unusually slow pace of floodwater recession. This is sure to prolong human sufferings and aggravate damages. In particular, the slow recession may leave farmers with little time to replant their aman crop, and thus may result in unusually high crop loss. Another alarming phenomenon witnessed this year is conjunction of flood with acute problems of drainage, waterlogging, and filth. This can be potentially deadly for sanitation and public health.
    What is the reason for this outcome? Why our flood-control strategy has not prevented flood, has not enabled us to cope with flood, and has aggravated and created new problems?
    Flood control efforts in Bangladesh have been based on erroneous thinking and have proceeded in wrong direction. Unless serious steps are taken to correct this thinking and direction, flood problem of Bangladesh is likely to become even worse with time and attain ultimately calamitous proportions.
    In the wake of the 1988 flood, there was some soul searching regarding Bangladesh flood. However, that did not result in a wholesome conclusion. Current year’s flood will surely lead to another round of brainstorming. Many mega-projects will be proposed. However, unless the fundamental thinking is set right, these projects will prove futile and counterproductive.

  5. Shamsun Nahar Proma says:

    Bangladesh is not successful in flood management. It is often crisis driven responses. Bangladesh needs to move from approach of relief distribution to proper disaster management. Only solutions that take into account the underlying long-term factors contributing to flooding problems can prevail.

  6. Enan says:

    I think Bangladesh is existing on the way of success in flood management. To finish this way Bangladesh needs to pay more attention on “PRR” i.e. Prevention, response and Recovery mechanisms

  7. Naznin Mou says:

    Bangladesh seems to be successful in flood management but it has to pay more attention on
    various issues related to flood management and that`s why Public sector , Private Sector, and Local people awareness is deeply needed.

  8. Uttom kundu Uttom kundu says:

    This year flood management is so poor….we still see the Jessore district, where so much people are now out of shelter, don’t get the proper relief…what’s the reason behind this?? this is only for our poor management system…we need to take a long term sustainable management system for flood affected areas. Not only the Govt. but also the private sectors and NGO should come forward in this regard.

  9. Ayrin Rini says:

    Flood is a natural blessing for Bangladesh in such way that it brings sediment from upper stream. But it has become a curse as India has built barrages in joint river. In rainy season more water passes away from upper stream and causes 93% of annual flood, and it happens suddenly. And govt. of BD really failed in this sector in every way.

  10. Jakiya Aumi says:

    River embankment and dams r also responsible for this kinds of flood.Water Drainag system is always hampered by the unplanned constraction of roads which is an obostacle to drain the water. Depth of the river is also become shallow day by day for siltation and it cannot hold the flow of water and creats flood.Govt should put their concentration to prevent that poor condition.

  11. Ismot Ara says:

    I think Bangladesh is not successful in flood management.This year severe flood occurred in different parts of Bangladesh brought much sufferings for people as many people did not get enough reliefs in due time.So reliefs should be distributed urgently.

  12. Shahadat Baser says:

    Is there anyone to give right answer of these aassesment?

    I think You will be able to get the progress of Bangladesh in Flood controls and management shortly.
    To decide the success and failure of Management of Bangladesh in cope up with Floods, lets take a look briefly summary in two particular year:

    The Effects of the 1998 Floods

    1. Over 57% of the land area was flooded
    2. Over 1300 people were killed
    3. 7 million homes were destroyed
    4. 25 million people were made homeless
    5. There was a serious shortage of drinking water & dry food
    6. Diseases spread such as bronchitis and cholera/diarrhoea
    7. As the waters receded – it left fields of rotting crops, wrecked roads and bridges and destroyed villages
    8. 2 million tonnes of rice was destroyed
    9. 1/2 million cattle and poultry were lost
    10. Overall the floods cost the country almost $1 billion

    The Effects of floods at present-2016

    1. 3.7 mill People affected
    2. 130,965 persons T
    3. US$ 13,620,052 REQUIRED

    2016 Monsoon season started on July 22nd. The impact of the monsoon increased gradually over the following weeks. Considering the severe deterioration of the situation, an inter-cluster meeting was organized on August 1st as well as an ad-hoc Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) on August 4th that decided to trigger a Rapid Needs Assessment. The Needs Assessment Working Group (NAWG) analyzed the situation and reported their findings to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) on August 7th. Based on these findings, the clusters/sectors revised their draft response plan and the HCTT Humanitarian Response Plan was presented to the HCTT on August 11th. 3.7 million people across 19 districts of Bangladesh are affected by monsoon-induced floods. 106 people died to date as a consequence of the floods. It includes 96 from drowning and 10 from snake-bite. 7,400 people sought refuge in 69 flood shelters. The official estimates indicate at least 250,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged (Shelter Cluster based on NDRCC reporting, 03.08.16). Riverbank erosion has resulted in a large number of houses and homesteads being washed away.

    On August 7th, 16,770 houses/homesteads were reported completely lost with a further 65,156 partially damaged by erosion. The districts which have experienced the greatest impact of the floods are: Jamalpur, Kurigram, Sirajgonj, Tangail, Gaibanda. Together, these 5 districts account for more than 70% of the affected people. All of these districts were also among the worst affected by the flooding in September 2014 affecting around 2 million people in north-western Bangladesh (JNA, 08.09.14). The Rapid Needs Assessment indicated that immediate needs of the population in affected areas are emergency food, drinking water and sanitation. However all sectors are affected and a coordinated multi-cluster/sector response is required.

  13. Ariful Islam says:

    It is usually found that different methods or techniques are practiced in different parts of the world to tackle the flood problems. All the methods and techniques for flood management can generally be classified into three broad categories and they are as follows: Structural Measures:
    In Bangladesh it is being some structural measures such as Flood Embankment, Channel Improvement, River Training, Coastal Embankment etc to combat the flood sufferings. Among these structural measures, construction of embankment is most popular and very old practice in Bangladesh. This is also a very cheap method compared to other structural measures. With the experience over the last few decades, it was observed that the structural measures do not usually bring only blessings. They also have adverse effect. The adverse effects always do not appear shortly after their construction but become apparent with the elapse of time.
    Structural cum Non-Structural Measures:
    They are engineering constructions, improvement or change in agronomic practices and watershed management. These options are now being practiced in Bangladesh to modify the flood and to combat the adverse effects of flood. It is found that some of this method is very cheap compared to other methods. Adoption of change in agronomic practices or watershed management requires very high level of community participation. Community awareness campaign is very important in this regard.
    This option consists of the Flood Plain Zoning & Management; Policies for infrastructure Planning and Development in the flood plains; Flood Proofing; Disaster Preparedness & Response Planning and Flood Forecasting and Warning.

  14. Mosarrat Jahan says:

    This year if we notice the major cause behind the flood is water coming from upstream areas near Bangladesh through transboundary rivers with India. Due to geographical location and politically less strong we always have to face discrimination in transboundary water sharing with India. So I think only developing polders, Embankments etc is not enough as flood management.Political willingness and international interfarence is needed for proper sharing of these common river waters for long term flood management.
    Bangladesh is much lagging behind in flood management, or in its initial stage I must say..now what people are doing either adapting with flood or migrating to less vulnerable areas.

  15. Subarna Sen Subarna Sen says:

    There are multifarious issues related to the management of flood and such type of natural hazards. The thing is Bangladesh is not yet ready to combat all these. The technology, the human resources and most importantly the money is very scarce to delimit the losses. So the country is still struggling to cope with flood related effects each year.

  16. Saurav Shuvo Saurav Shuvo says:

    I think amidst all the negatives, the country is actually progressing towards a better flood management system. The devastation and destruction are surely reducing day by day. Only if the country can work out a better method of co-operation with the neighboring countries, then in future flood will become a relatively less tormenting natural calamity.

  17. Rahul Joydhar says:

    Physical and human causes that allowed the floods to be worse; such as:
    The Physical Causes of the Floods:
    • Most of the country consists of a huge flood plain and delta.
    • Snowmelt from the Himalayas takes place in late spring & summer.
    • 70% of the total area is less than 1 meter above sea level.
    • 10% of the land area is made up of Lakes and Rivers.
    • Bangladesh experiences heavy monsoon rains, especially over the highlands.
    • Tropical storms bring heavy rains and coastal flooding.
    • The high tide occur at a time in GBM river, the flood turn a devastating complexion.
    • The main cause was the above average & long period of heavy rain which caused all 3 rivers to have their peak flow at the same time.
    • In the spring, melting snow from the Himalayas further increases the flood risks as torrents of melt water enter the rivers at their source.
    The Human Causes of the Floods:
    • Deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas increases run off and add to deposition and flooding downstream.
    • Urbanization of the flood plain has increased magnitude & frequency of floods.
    • Global warming is blamed for sea level rise, increased snow melt & increased rainfall in the region.
    • The building of dams in India has increased the problem of sedimentation in Bangladesh.
    • Poorly maintained embankments (levees) leak & collapse in times of high discharge.
    • Increasing population pressure in Bangladesh itself has resulted in the sinking of many new wells resulting in the lowering of the water table and the subsequent subsidence of land making it even more prone to flooding.

  18. Rahul Joydhar says:

    Formulating solutions to flooding problems requires a comprehensive understanding of the geologic settings of the region, and a better knowledge of hydrodynamic processes that are active in watersheds. Only solutions that take into account the underlying long-term factors contributing to flooding problems can prevail. Such contributing factors are as follows: unplanned urbanization, soil erosion, local relative sea-level rise, inadequate sediment accumulation, subsidence and compaction of sediments, riverbed aggradation, and deforestation.
    Structural solutions, such as the building of embankments along the rivers and polders in coastal regions in Bangladesh, will not solve the flooding problems, but will result in many adverse environmental, hydrologic, economic, ecological, and geologic consequences. Solutions to flooding problems can be achieved by adopting and exercising watershed-scale best management practices that include: floodplain zoning, planned urbanization, restoration of abundant channels and lakes, dredging rivers and streams, increased elevation of roads and village platforms, efficient storm sewer systems, establishing buffer zones along rivers, conservation tillage, controlled runoff at construction sites, good governance, indigenous adjustment of life-style and crop patterns, and improvement on flood warning/preparedness systems.
    Since Bangladesh is a small part of a larger hydrodynamic system that comprises several countries in the region, mutual understanding and cooperation among the co-riparian countries will be necessary to formulate any long-term and permanent solutions to the flooding problems.
    N.B http://vulcan.gsw.peachnet.edu/khaleq ( collected )

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