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Learning from the 2020 Floods in Faridpur District, Bangladesh to build resilience

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Cyclone Amphan hit Bangladesh in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and was followed by a relentless flooding and cyclone season in 2020. The intense rainfall from the cyclone filled rivers to overflowing, breaking embankments, sending floodwaters into nearby communities, and waterlogging 0.2 million hectares of agricultural fields and fish farms (Reliefweb, 2021). As a result, when the monsoon season hit, rivers and land across Bangladesh were heavily saturated, limiting how quickly the rain from the monsoon could be absorbed.

According to the Needs Assessment Working Group report, the 2020 monsoon flooding affected 5.4 million people and 1,059,295 households were inundated (NAWG, 2020). The Ministry of Agriculture reported that US$42 m worth of crops, a total of 83,000 hectares of paddy fields, and 125,549 hectares of agricultural land were damaged across the country. Furthermore, the floods caused moderate to severe damage to livestock and fisheries. According to the Department of Livestock Services, the sector lost US$74.5 m worth of livestock including 16,537 hectares of grassland. And according to the Department of Public Health and Engineering, 92,860 tube-wells and 100,223 latrines were damaged across the country.

This report has been developed by members of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance – Practical Action and ISET International. The study focuses on why the 2020 floods resulted in a disaster in Bangladesh. It draws on three weeks of field work, 21 interviews and two focus groups with stakeholders from government, UN agencies, donors, NGOs and humanitarian response agencies, academics, and community members, and the review of over 30 secondary sources to highlight key opportunities for building resilience.


(Tiếng Việt, Español, Français)

Authors: Afsari Begum, Subinoy Dutta, Rachel Norton, Kanmani Venkateswaran

Key words: Bangladesh, Covid-19, Disaster Risk Reduction/Hazard Management; Floods, Hurricanes, Typhoons; Learning from Natural Hazards; Monitoring and Evaluation; Social Vulnerability

Citation: Begum, A., Dutta, S., Norton, R. and Venkateswaran, K. (2021). Post Event Review Capability (PERC) Study. Learning from the 2020 Floods in Faridpur District, Bangladesh to build resilience. Boulder, CO: ISET International and the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance.

Funded by: Z Zurich Foundation

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