WaterAid launches Bangladesh flood appeal
The international development charity WaterAid today launched an emergency appeal to raise funds to help restore vital water and sanitation services destroyed by devastating floods in Bangladesh.
Torrential monsoon rains, which have sparked the worst floods in the country for at least a decade, have affected 8 million people across 32 districts, according to the UN. At least 145 people have lost their lives, and thousands of homes, schools, hospitals and roads have been destroyed.
In the worst affected flood-hit areas in the north of the country wells and latrines have been totally submerged or damaged by the floods waters, leaving many communities without access to clean water or functioning toilets.
In disaster situations it is crucial that people can access clean water and that human waste is safely disposed of, to prevent outbreaks of water-related diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid, which pose a serious risk to survivors.
WaterAid Bangladesh has already responded to the relief efforts by providing an emergency supply of drinking water and helping flush out wells. But the task ahead is huge and we must act quickly to provide communities with water and sanitation facilities in order to prevent a public health crisis.
Today’s fundraising appeal will assist with the recovery of essential water, sanitation and hygiene services in the weeks and months ahead, as well as in the immediate crisis.
Even before this crisis hit, 4.8 million people in Bangladesh lived without access to clean water and more than half the population (53%) were without a decent toilet. Some 2,000 children under five die in Bangladesh each year of diarrhoeal illnesses caused by the lack of safe water, toilets and handwashing with soap.
Olga Ghazaryan, director of international programmes for WaterAid, said:
“The flooding across Bangladesh has caused devastation to millions of people’s lives and livelihoods. We’ve received reports that many communities have been completely devastated, with houses, schools, health centres and vital water and sanitation facilities completely destroyed.
As many as 650,000 people have been affected from the communities where WaterAid is currently working. Many of them have only recently built a latrine for the first time and now they’ve been destroyed by floods.
Our immediate priority is to provide those displaced by the floods with a supply of clean drinking water, and somewhere safe to go to the toilet, in order to stop outbreaks of waterborne diseases and prevent a public health crisis.
Disasters such as this affect poor people most. In the long-term WaterAid plan to support the development of communities in Bangladesh by ensuring they have access to water, sanitation and hygiene improvements and build their resilience to future disasters.”
About the Bangladesh emergency flood appeal:
It will cost £122 to entirely replace a water source destroyed by flooding,
£30 to renovate and fix a water source
Less than £10 to help a poor family to fix their flood damaged latrine to regain their dignity and stop dangerous transmission of disease which is always a risk after flooding.
To donate to the WaterAid Bangladesh flood appeal please visit www.wateraid.org/uk/flood-appeal
For more information, please contact:
Jo Lehmann, News Manager on [email protected] or 0207 793 4909
Or Laura Crowley, Senior Media Officer on [email protected] 0207 793 4965
Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected] .
Notes to Editors:
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25 million people with clean water and, since 2004, 24 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @WaterAidUK on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.
Some 289,000 children die each year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s almost 800 children each day, or one child every two minutes.
An estimated 844 million people are without clean water
Nearly 2.3 billion people (around one in three) live without a decent toilet
For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity.
Just £15 can help provide one person with access to clean water.
For details on how individual countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, please see our online database, WASHWatch.org.