Flood: Situation improving in Sylhet, outbreak of waterborne diseases feared

People using boat to go from one place to another as roads are submerged due to the flood in Beanibazar, SylhetFile photo

The overall flood situation in Sylhet has improved further but till now around 400,000 people are marooned due to flooding across the district.

Among them, 9,635 people took refuge in 651 shelter centres in different parts of the district while others took refuge in makeshift shelters in relatives’ homes or simply living amid floodwaters in their own houses.

Meanwhile, various waterborne diseases are on the rise due to the scarcity of drinking water, further exacerbating the suffering of flood victims.

Areas along the banks of Kushiyara River, including Jakiganj, Balaganj, Osmaninagar, Dakshin Surma, Beanibazar, Golapganj, and Fenchuganj upazilas, are severely affected.

Roads in flooded areas are submerged, and numerous educational institutions remain inundated.

In contrast, flood conditions have improved in Surma river basin areas such as Gowainghat, Companiganj, and Jaintapur upazilas. In these areas, water levels are gradually receding, prompting some evacuees to return home from shelters.

Floods have affected 101 unions and several municipalities across 13 upazilas in Sylhet Division. A total of 1,116 villages have been submerged.

Moreover, the number of people affected by waterborne diseases in the flood-affected areas is increasing. Drinking contaminated water and exposure to it are leading to outbreaks of diarrhoea, skin diseases, and eye infections among the displaced.

According to reports, 136 medical teams are currently providing healthcare services in Sylhet. Among them, 81 people are suffering from diarrhoea, 32 are infected with respiratory diseases, 50 are affected by skin diseases, and five have eye infections. An additional 653 individuals are receiving treatment for various other illnesses.

Janmejoy Dutta, deputy civil surgeon in Sylhet, said, “Adequate medical teams are working to ensure post-flood healthcare services. Patients are being treated at upazila health complexes, community clinics, and health centres.”

Md. Anisur Rahman, Director of the Sylhet Divisional Health Office, said, “Various diseases are being observed post-flood, which is natural. Everyone needs to remain vigilant. We have deployed 403 medical teams across the division to ensure healthcare for flood-affected people.”

Abdul Kuddus Bulbul, district relief and rehabilitation officer, informed that in response to the recent floods, they have distributed 1,855 tonnes of rice, cash assistance of Tk 6.03 million, 14,556 packets of dry food, baby food worth of Tk 2 million, and Tk 2 million for cattle fodder.

Due to the ongoing floods, this year’s Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent examinations, which began on 30 June, were postponed in Sylhet Education Board until 8 July. The exams resumed in all four districts of Sylhet Division from Tuesday.