Three days ago, monsoon rains began to fall across southeastern Bangladesh. The resulting flooding is already impacting our ability to deliver critical health services to the Rohingya refugee population in the camps. Yesterday morning, I received a message from HOPE’s country director, Commander (Ret.) Ferdous Muhammed. I wanted to share excerpts from his message with you (in blue text, below), to give you a sense of what is happening on the ground, right now:
"Today, I have visited 4 (Ratnapalong, Moynerghona, Palongkhali and Whykong) out of our 7 facilities. I could not make it to all due to paucity of time. We tried to assess the situation on ground after 36 hours of non-stop heavy rain and strong wind. We also tried to figure out the needs. We talked to Midwives, Field Facilitators and others working in district government health facilities. We have identified two major problems, power and pure drinking water. Other challenges are: · Walking in slippery muddy road · Lot of insects, flies etc. inside the facilities · Running out cell phone battery, caused by power cut-off Donate Now About a dozen people have already lost their lives in this flooding. If the rain resumes, it is possible that landslides and major flooding could cause the death toll to grow much higher. Loss of power means that our midwives cannot see to help their patients deliver in the dark. They cannot call HOPE to transport a patient from our field clinic to our hospital if something goes wrong during labor. And loss of water makes childbirth especially precarious. Water purification tablets are better than nothing, but they are not ideal for cleaning hands, or wounds."
Commander Ferdous and his team on the ground are actively seeking donations for power generators, insect-killing UV lights, lanterns, and mud boots, to help our team move safely through thick mud. Your donation today can help fund these critical items, and more. The Bangladesh Army has closed the new road. They are brick soling about 500 meters of road where brick soling was not done before. It may take about a week to complete the road.
The drainage network of the HOPE Field Hospital for Women was found to be very efficient, and I am happy to report there was no water logging in, or outside, the hospital. Today the weather was much better without rain except drizzling for about 30 minutes at noon. It was not a sunny day and the sky was overcast.
I fear that this situation will likely grow worse before it gets better. I will keep you updated, regardless.