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Bangladesh is the part of worlds most dynamic hydrological system. The river flow and the rainfall, with their distribution in different seasons and variations from year to year pose a formidable problem of floods, drought and water scarcity in almost every year. The main river system carries huge volume of run-off from the upper catchment. The geographical location is also responsible for cyclonic disaster in the country. In other words, water related disasters causing threat to human lives, properties and damages national economy are the natural phenomenon in the country.

Bangladesh is situated in the South Asian sub-continent. Because of its unique geographical location & topography, it is one of the most flood prone countries in the world. Approximately 20 to 25% of Bangladeshs territory is inundated during the monsoon season. It experiences annual average 2,300 mm precipitation varying from as little as 1200 mm in the west to over 5,000 mm in the east. Such flooding provides fertile agricultural land & the flood plains in the country are densely populated & intensely utilized. On the other hand, at least 50 to 70% of the countrys territory is exposed to intermittent extreme flooding that has far-reaching negative impacts on the national economy.

Bangladesh lies approximately between 20 to 26 degree north latitude and 88 to 92 degree east longitude. It is bordered on the west, north and east by India, on the south-east by Myanmar, and on the south by the Bay of Bengal. It occupies one of the biggest delta in the world, where Ganges,Meghna & Brahmaputra rivers meet & has an area of about 1,47,570 sq. km. It has 230 rivers including 57 international rivers. Among them 54 rivers originated from India including three major rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra & the Meghna.Mean elevation range from less than 1 meter on tidal floodplains,1 to 3 meters on the main river & estuarine floodplains & up to 6 meters in the sylhet basin in the north-east. Only in the extreme north-west are elevations greater than 30 meters above the mean sea level.

Bangladesh generally experiences four types of floods: 1. Flash floods occur during mid-April before the on-set of the south-westerly monsoon. 2. Rain-fed floods generally happen in the deltas in the south-western part of the country and are increasing in low-lying urban areas. 3. River floods are the most common; the areas are inundated during monsoon season along the river and in cases far beyond the riverbanks. 4. Storm surge floods occur along the coastal areas of Bangladesh, which has a coastline of about 800 km along the northern part of Bay of Bengal.

Many parts of the Asia during monsoon frequently suffer from severe floods. Some parts of India and Bangladesh experience floods almost every year with considerable damage. The floods of 1954, 1955, 1974, 1987, 1988, 1998, 2004 and 2007 all caused enormous damages to properties and considerable loss of life. The floods of 1987, 1988 1998, 2004 and 2007 flood caused heavy damage. During the monsoon 2009, the flood was not severe and stayed little time. Flood statistics for Bangladesh are available since 1954 and are summarized in the table below-

1954 1955
1956 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

Flood Affected Area Sq.Km %

36,800 50,500 35,400 28,400 28,800 37,200 43,100 31,000 28,400 33,400 25,700 37,200 41,400 42,400 36,300 20,800 29,800 25 34 24 19 20 25 29 21 19 23 17 25 28 29 25 14 20

1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1980 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

Flood Affected Area Sq.Km %

52,600 16,600 28,300 12,500 10,800 33,000 3,140 11,100 28,200 11,400 6,600 57,300 89,970 6,100 3,500 28,600 2,000 36 11 19 8 7 22 2 7.5 19 8 4 39 61 4 2.4 19 1.4

1993 1994 1995 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Flood Affected Area Sq.Km %

28,742 419 32,000 35,800 1,00,250 32,000 35,700 4,000 15,000 21,500 55,000 17,850 16,175 62,300 33,655 28,593 20 .2 22 24 68 22 24 2.8 10 14 38 12 11 42.21 22.80 19.4

Climatologically, the country has two distinct seasons, a dry season from November to May & the wet (flood) season from June to September(or October). Over 80% of the rainfall occurs during the monsoon or rainy season, when flooding normally occurs. Floods in Bangladesh occur for number of reasons. The main causes are excessive precipitation, low topography and flat slope of the country; but others include: 1. The geographic location and climatic pattern: Bangladesh is located at the foot of the highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas, which is also the highest precipitation zone in the world. This rainfall is caused by the influence of the south-west monsoon. Cherapunji, highest rainfall in the world, is located a few Kilometers north east of the Bangladesh border. 2. The confluence of three major rivers, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna: the runoff from their vast catchment (about 1.72 million km) passes through a small area: only 8% of these catchments lie within Bangladesh. During the monsoon season the amount of water entering Bangladesh from upstream is greater than the capacity of the rivers to discharge in to the sea. 3. Bangladesh is a land of rivers: there are about 230 major and minor rivers in the Country. The total annual runoff of surface water flowing through the rivers of Bangladesh is about 12,000 billion cubic meters. 4. Man-made environment: the construction of embankments in the upstream Catchment reduces the capacity of the flood plains to store water. The unplanned and unregulated construction of roads and highways in the flood plain without adequate opening creates obstructions to flow. 5. The influence of tides and cyclones: the frequent development of low pressure areas and storm surges in the Bay of Bengal can impede drainage. The severity of flooding is greatest when the peak floods of the major rivers coincide with these effects. 6. Long term environmental changes: climate changes could influence the frequency and magnitude of flooding. A higher sea level will inhibit the drainage from the rivers to the sea and increase the impact of tidal surges. Deforestation in hilly catchments causes more rapid and higher runoff, and hence more intense flooding.

More than 450 people have died and more than 30 million people in Bangladesh are affected by the recent floods. Of the country's 64 districts, 43 are affected by the rising waters. More than 150,000 homes have been destroyed and more than half a million acres of crops destroyed. The peoples are affected by different kinds of water-borne diseases, like as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera etc.

There are two kinds of flood management. 1. Short term management. 2. Long term management. The short term managements includes Boats to rescue people, Emergency supplies for food, water, tents and medicines, Repair and rebuild houses, as well as sewage, safety tank etc, Aid from other countries. The long term managements includes Reduce Deforestation in Nepal & Himalayas, Build flood shelters to accommodate all affected peoples, Create flood water storage areas, Develop an effective Flood Warning Scheme, Build embankment to reduce flooding along the main river channels etc.

The flood problem in Bangladesh is extremely complex. Flood occur in Bangladesh almost every year and devastating ones in every 5 to 10 years. Although the lifestyle of the people in Bangladesh is well adopted to flood phenomena, the damages due to inundation, riverbank erosion or breach of river structures etc. still occur in various regions in every monsoon season. They often have disastrous consequences: major damage to infrastructure, great loss of property, human suffering and impoverishment of the poor.

Special thanks to my respective supervisor sir for help me very cordially to make this paper properly.

Annual flood report 2009,Flood Forecasting & Warning Centre,BWDB,Dhaka.