Monsoon rains in August affected close to 6.9 million people in Bangladesh. Rising waters began on August 11 and by August 15, one third of the country was submerged.
The floods killed at least 115 people and forced close to 200,000 people from their homes. In some parts of the country, up to 80% of sanitation and water facilities were affected. Many shelter centres lacked the ability to provide adequate food, water, hygiene and protection, putting children, adolescent girls and women at risk. Most of the affected people were farm labourers, relying on agriculture to meet their basic needs. The extent of the disaster increased the risks of serious disease outbreaks; children dropping out of school; and violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation of children and women.
Plan International Canada, with operations on the ground in Bangladesh and experience in disaster response, developed an intervention aimed at increasing access to safe water, sanitation services and hygiene items.
They tested, repaired and disinfected 300 wells and repaired or replaced latrines in 1,400 households. They distributed hygiene kits containing essential items such as towels, sheets, candles, plastic buckets, jugs, shovel, sandals, mosquito nets and toys and conducted hygiene and disaster preparedness sessions with beneficiaries and students.