Bangladesh: after the floods comes the hunger – in pictures

Life on the floodplains in Bangladesh can be a perilous existence. On islands along the Brahmaputra river, in Gaibandha province, unseasonable flooding has destroyed crops, spreading hunger and poor nutrition. Changing rainfall patterns are making the floods more violent, more frequent and less predictable

Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
After the last flood swept through the fields, women of this village on Baje Telkupi island in the Brahmaputra river, in Bangladesh’s northern Gaibandha province, tried to sow another crop – but as it is the dry season, it’s unlikely to bear fruit. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Jaheda Begum stands on the riverbank in Rasulpur, Gaibandha province, where unseasonable floods in July and September last year washed away most of her village’s rice crops. She earns a living working as a day labourer, but the floods mean there’s not much rice left to tend or harvest. Wage rates have fallen and rice prices are up. Her five children have left to look for work in the city. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Kohinur, also in Rasulpur, has been left to fend for herself while her husband has gone in search of work. ‘The river has come and taken our land,’ she said. ‘My rice paddy was all washed away. We had to live on the road, sheltering under banana trees, for three months. My husband has gone to work as a day labourer’. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
After flooding, many people in Bangladesh struggle to find and produce enough food. Much of the country is low-lying and, as climate change affects sea levels, floods are deeper and longer. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Fulmoti says she has been unable to give her family milk or eggs since the flood around her home on Baje Telkupi island killed her goat and washed away her chickens. ‘We’re just eating rice,’ she said. ‘Rice porridge is all we can manage right now. Vegetables are too expensive, since gardens have been ruined’. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Anna is feeding her month-old baby using cow’s milk. ‘I’m not getting any breast milk because I haven’t had enough to eat,’ she said. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
After the the floods retreat, the land looks bleak. Here, a goatherder’s shack is left standing on the mud. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Majeda Begum with her children. In December, GUK – an NGO partner of Oxfam – delivered cash transfers to help families in the area. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Majida and her husband Hasan Ali lost their home and possessions in the recent floods, and Hasan Ali is away looking for work. Until he returns, this is the food the family have to last them. There are a few potatoes, 2kg of rice, some radishes, aubergines, cooking oil, salt and spices. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Majeda cooks the one meal of the day for her two children, Shoneka and Majedul. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam
Hunger in Bangladesh : after unseasonal floods people struggle with food
Shoneka, two, and Majedul, five, eat rice, but Majeda is skipping the meal as the family only have enough rice left for a few more days. Rice prices are up by 30% because of flood-induced shortages. Photograph: Khaled Hasan/Oxfam

Source: The Guardian

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