Slice of Life
A Natural Calamity
Aggravated by Humans
is, to be sure, one of those natural calamities that cannot
be entirely prevented. But the most disturbing question
is whether we could have done something to prevent the
after effects of the flood from becoming so devastating?
We could, but we didn't. This is not of course for the
first time that Dhaka has been so badly affected by floods.
Neither is the enormity of the humanitarian crisis we
are witness to for the last few weeks in Dhaka, unprecedented.
In fact, both the major floods in 1988 and 1998 did have
more or less similar effects on Dhaka. But in spite of
the bitter experience of the past our policy makers have
remained indifferent to and lethargic about working out
a long-term plan to make sure that the flood waters do
not reach such levels as to paralyse normal life; so that
relief is quick and efficient; and so that water-borne
diseases are controlled and lives are saved. Thus, here
comes another flood and yet again catches us off guard
and absolutely unprepared.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004