Child protection is not in the agenda of flood relief initiatives

Heavy monsoon rains in recent days have caused at least five rivers in South Western Bangladesh to burst their banks, flooding more than 1,000 square kilometres of farmland in the remote Satkhira district. According to agencies working in the area, at least 5.5 million people of two hundred thousand families have been made homeless in the district as flood has destroyed their thatched and mud houses.

Over 200 educational institutions have been damaged by the flood water largely hampering education system in those areas.

WFP with AusAid fund, Local and International Development agencies have started emergency operation in the area. Food and Disaster Management Minister has assured adequate relief materials to be distributed in the affected areas and also post–flood agricultural rehabilitation programme.

The Red Cross on 26th August, 2011, launched a 1.3 million franc appeal to assist 50,000 people affected by flood.

The flood may cause long term waterlogging in the area and people will bound to stay in the makeshift arrangement for the longer time and school will remain close. The students who will give the primary completion examination, JSC and SSC will largely affect. Different kinds of initiatives have taken for the flood affected people but child protection is not in the agenda of flood relief initiatives resulting massive dropouts from schools, increased child labour, migration / trafficking of children in form of domestic workers, child marriage and enrolments in orphan type of institutions will be increased.

Keeping this in mind it is important to take necessary steps to protect the children from possible drop-out rate from schools, child labour, child trafficking and early marriage.

Prepared By: Nurun Nahar Poly

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