Industry Desk: More than 1.5 million children are at increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition due to extensive flooding in north-eastern Bangladesh.
Unicef rang the alarm as it is working with government and non-government partners to respond to the urgent safety, health, nutrition and clean water needs of children and their families. In a report on Monday, Unicef stated that over four million people in five districts of north-eastern Bangladesh –
Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Netrokona and Maulvibazar – are affected by extensive flooding. Sylhet and Sunamganj have been most affected, with water flowing above dangerous levels. Agricultural land and critical infrastructure, including power stations and schools, have been submerged.
Cases of diarrhoea, respiratory infection, and skin diseases have already been reported in the affected areas, according to the report.
At least three children have died after being struck by lightning, it reports.
Alarming concerns about affected children’s education, Unicef said after 18 months of pandemic school closures in the last few years, children are once again missing out on learning due to the flood-induced closure at hundreds of schools.
“The damage to lives, homes and schools is heartbreaking. In this disaster, as in most others, children are the most vulnerable. Unicef is on the ground to protect children and to meet their urgent needs, supporting the Government and working closely with our local partners,” said Sheldon Yett, Unicef Representative to Bangladesh.
Unicef is supporting the Government of Bangladesh’s flood response by supplying clean water, hygiene kits, therapeutic milk and learning kits.
Unicef also works closely with the Department of Social Services to ensure that social workers stand ready to protect the safety and security of children. Raising awareness about drowning prevention in communities is at the centre of the response.
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