Fifteen children have drowned in flash floods that swept Bangladesh, and another 3.5 million urgently need clean drinking water as the risk of water-borne diseases rises, UNICEF’s country representative said on Friday.
“This is a staggering number of children and an increase over the last few days. Vast areas are completely underwater and cut off from safe drinking water and food supplies. Kids need help right now,” said Sheldon Yett.
The government and aid agencies rushed to provide aid, including water and other supplies, after flash floods hit a quarter of the South Asian country.
The floods also damaged health facilities, closed schools and cut off treatment for malnutrition for hundreds of children, Yate told a briefing in Geneva.
Diarrhea cases had risen to 2,700 by the middle of this week, he added.
Authorities in Bangladesh and neighboring India have warned of the risk of an outbreak of the disease. In total, more than 4.5 million people have been stranded and dozens killed in Bangladesh, many in the worst floods in the northeast’s Sylhet region in more than 100 years.
In the eastern Indian state of Assam, Indian Air Force helicopters have been deployed to deliver food and other supplies to isolated communities.