Is Narmada water being made to flow in Sabarmati not supplied to city of Ahmedabad? This has furthered the idea of river...
I have been selling glass for commercial buildings talking about light, thermal/solar heat gain etc.etc..but I...
Dear Saxena ji,
Thank you for inquiry.
West facing windows can be a big source of heat, first measure which you...
Selim Bhuiyan, director of Bangladesh's Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre put it thus: normally, the Meghna floods between April to June, the Brahmaputra in July and August; floods from the Ganga occur in August and September. But this time all three basins roiled over simultaneously, in July. What exacerbated the situation, said Akram Hossain, director, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, was that a swollen Bay of Bengal obstructed water flow into the sea (see map: Boiling over; see box: Could it be?). According to Bhuiyan, this also increased the duration of flooding in central districts including Dhaka.
Government and opposition leaders failed to grasp the gravity of the situation, for the national road and highway network remained largely unaffected. In hindsight, it is clear that while these structures were flood-proofed after 1988 the rest of the flood plain, where the majority of people live, remained unprotected. According to experts, risen riverbeds through siltation and rampant construction on wetlands -- traditionally, a buffer for floodwater -- were equally the culprits. Also, having occurred earlier in 1988 and 1998, conventional wisdom ascribed floods of such severity to a 10-year cycle. But this one occurred only six years after.
Against the backdrop of a World Food Program warning that Bangladesh "could face a major humanitarian crisis", the bnp-led four-party alliance government of Begum Khaleda Zia has sought international assistance. On August 12, Jorgen Lissner, resident commissioner, un, launched a flash appeal for us $210 million assistance, against losses estimated at us $6.6 billion by un agencies and us $7 billion by the government. On the same day the Centre for Policy Dialogue, a private sector think tank, went public saying losses could only be us $1.9 billion, only to concede that their estimates were based on a rapid appraisal of damage data collated at the ministry of food, disaster management and relief, and that it did not cover rehabilitation. Given this controversy, finance minister Saifur Rahman announced a new joint assessment by the government and un agencies. Based on past experience, the government began distributing vgf (vulnerable group feeding) cards to seriously affected families.
More than seven million families bore the brunt, losing not only crops and household articles, but also an estimated four million houses, one million of these completely. Relief-dependent farmers are trying hard to replant aman (Kharif-ii) paddy on nearly 1.21 million hectares of crop-damaged land. Banks have been asked not to crack the loan recovery whip, and instead disburse fresh loans to help resume farming.
The task ahead is even more onerous: reconstructing 14,104 kilometres (km) fully damaged roads, 44,528 km partially damaged roads and 3,100 km flood protection embankments. The government has to reconstruct 1235 educational institutions and repair another 23,310. Damaged bridges and culverts, 5,401 of them, also need urgent attention. However, it would be difficult to replace about 20,000 lost livestock, and rehabilitate thousands of fish culture ponds, now empty.
Owners of thousands of handlooms and power looms that went under water in Narsingdi and Sirajganj districts need support to resume production. Garment exports fetch nearly 80 per cent of Bangladesh's annual foreign exchange earnings (it totalled us $6.5 billion in 2002-2003). Transactions in most banks halved in July and early August. Half of nearly 3,000 factories were affected. Exporters complained of "negative news"; foreign buyers had begun expressing reservations about the ability of Bangladeshi suppliers to maintain supply deadlines.
Floods in the 1950s led to the 1964 master plan, under which about 60 flood protection drainage and irrigation projects were implemented and nearly 9,000 km of embankments constructed, also along the coast. The 1988 deluge resulted in the Flood Action Plan (fap). Initially focused on safe conveyance of floodwater by building embankments, fap has evolved into a flood and water management strategy. An important outcome of studies conducted under that initiative was the 1997 National Water Policy and the National Water Management Plan (nwmp), recently approved by the government. The new emphasis is on a long-term solution.
It is unlikely policy- and decision-makers will revert back to structural solutions, for their ill-effects on the ecology and economy are well known. But a mix of structural and non-structural measures based on the nwmp is expected. Experts emphasise flood protection of urban centres and important places of economic activity, and shoring up flood forecasting and preparedness.
Flood forecasting has improved over the past two decades, but still remains restricted to warning messages relayed only 48-72 hours in advance. Because hydrological data and information related to the upper catchments of major rivers in India are not available, experts cannot make predictions, say, seven days ahead of flood events. This is a real problem; experts allege Bangladesh gets flood flow data only from some points not very far from the borders. That, too, only when the water crosses danger levels. Also, there is no elaborate arrangement to transmit even such messages as the 48-hour advance to people of flood-prone areas in time, or in a language ordinary people understand. Due to inefficiencies, the Disaster Management Bureau created in 1993 remains virtually inactive.
So what must be done? Situated at the confluence of three great rivers -- the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna -- the country drains about 2 million sq km of these rivers' catchments. Only about eight per cent of the water in these rivers comes from the rain the country gets (2,000 millimetres annual average). So it is that Mozaddad Faruque, director general of the Water Resources Planning Organisation underlines the need for more upstream hydrological data (from India and Nepal) to make forecasts effective and send out flood warning messages in time. Maniruzzaman Miah, former vice chancellor of Dhaka University, and Quamrul Islam Siddique, chairperson, Global Water Partnership, South Asia, concur with Faruque. They emphasise cooperation between India, Bangladesh and Nepal on a basin-wide approach to managing water.