Millions of people have been affected by intense monsoon rains in Bangladesh.

It has caused some of the worst flooding to ever hit the region, leaving millions of people displaced and many communities without electricity.

But this isn’t the first time the country has had to deal with heavy rains and destructive floods.

Read on to discover why Bangladesh is so prone to flooding, what’s causing it and how ShelterBox is responding.

What happened?

Map of flooding in Bangladesh

Heavy monsoon rains and flash floods have submerged large parts of northeastern Bangladesh, leaving millions of people stranded or displaced.

The area was still recovering from heavy rains in late May.

Several rivers flow from India’s northeast through the low-lying wetlands of Bangladesh. But excess rainwater has not been able to drain because of how saturated the wetlands already were from the last month’s rains.

Why does Bangladesh flood?

A man stands by his sunken house after flooding in 2017

Bangladesh has hundreds of rivers and is vulnerable to flooding. It is a delta country, and most of it is located within the floodplains of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers.

It is also incredibly low-lying, with the majority of the country lying less than one metre above sea level.

This leaves Bangladesh vulnerable to flooding, as sea-level rise, changes in river water levels and the stresses that humans put on the land can all have devastating impacts.

Every year whole communities prepare themselves for the annual monsoon season, but this year Sylhet has seen its highest rainfall in more than a century.

How is ShelterBox responding?

ShelterBox is sending an assessment team to Bangladesh to see if and how we can support people who have been affected by the flooding.

We’ve worked in Bangladesh many times, most recently in July 2019 when flooding left large swathes of the country underwater. We supported families who had lost their homes with essential aid items to help them rebuild and recover.

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