Monsoon, floods and COVID-19: building community resilience in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Extreme weather events, the annual monsoon season, and the health and economic impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic are hitting communities hard. Without urgent action by the government and donors, the impact of monsoon hazards will compound the effects and risks of COVID-19, and increase the chances of transmission in already highly vulnerable populations. Floods and their resulting impacts, such as loss of housing, inundation of agricultural lands, damage to critical infrastructure including health facilities, congregated sheltering, and exposure to contaminated water, can further exacerbate the socio-economic and health conditions of communities already under considerable strain. Concern Worldwide, Mercy Corps, and Practical Action, members of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance in Bangladesh, conducted an assessment of 15 Union Disaster Management Committees (UMDC) across three districts to understand the state of flood vulnerable populations during the pandemic; and provide recommendations for governments, donors, and communities to better prepare for the compound risks of COVID-19 during the monsoon season.