Eight million people have been affected by recent flooding in Bangladesh a crisis that grows worse daily. In addition to the destruction of homes, an estimated 1.2 million acres of farmland have been damaged a devastating blow for this agricultural country.
The rivers of Bangladesh are sometimes friend, sometimes foe. In the dry season, they flow gently. Children splash in them, mothers haul buckets of water from them. But then the winds come, blowing in thick, black rain clouds. And the rivers churn and grow muddy, exploding from their banks, reducing the country to mud and rubble.
Disasters Plague Bangladesh
The 2007 monsoon season has been an especially brutal one in Bangladesh. In August, nearly 5 million people were forced to flee their homes as 26 rivers overflowed their banks. Flooding has so far affected seven Compassion-assisted projects and more than 1,100 registered children.
Compassion Bangladesh staff took immediate action following the devastating floods, providing food, water purification tablets, oral rehydration solution and temporary shelter to thousands of Compassion-assisted families.
Long Road to Recovery
But for this poverty-stricken country, there is a long road to recovery. As the waters slowly recede, families are forced to drink from stagnant puddles, their only source of water. Sanitary conditions in evacuation centers are deplorable, and cases of diarrhea, cholera and skin diseases spreading among families living there.
"Many children are suffering from waterborne diseases," says Milka Boidya, a Compassion staff member in Bangladesh. "Diarrhea is becoming an epidemic in the flood-affected areas."
The path to healing for thousands of Compassion-assisted children is long and muddy. More than 10,000 miles of roads have been destroyed, meaning that many of their parents are unable to work and may not have jobs to return to. Most children are unable to travel to their Compassion-assisted child development centers, and thousands of schools have been closed due to damage.
Pray for the People of Bangladesh
Please continue to pray for the thousands of Compassion-assisted children and their families as Bangladesh's monsoon season continues. Many communities remain plagued by flooding and disease while waiting for relief.
Also pray for Compassion Bangladesh's staff. Many are dealing with their own losses while trying to serve thousands of children and families.
For the most up-to-date information on the situations around the world visit the Crisis Updates page.