Four million people flee their homes as monsoon rains hit south Asia

Climate changeFloodsIndiaBangladesh

Monsoon rains have brought flooding and landslides to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Across south Asia, an estimated 4 million people have been forced to flee their homes, and government authorities are reporting that more than 600 people have been killed.

People have lost their loved ones, their homes and their businesses. Floods also bring the threat of waterborne diseases, such as cholera. 

Tearfund partners are responding across the region. 

In Bangladesh, staff from our partner organisation, LAMB, are helping vulnerable people to get to shelters in safer places. They are also giving food to people who have lost everything in the floods so that they don't go hungry.

Overflowing
‘It is very sad to see millions of vulnerable Bangladeshis having to deal with another disaster, while already having a hard time coping with the coronavirus,’ says Sudarshan Reddy Kodooru, Tearfund’s Country Director for Bangladesh.

‘Riverbanks are overflowing and flood defences such as dykes, dams and sluices have been damaged because of the heavy monsoon rains. Please pray for the affected families, rescue teams, our partner LAMB and other humanitarian workers, and the government.’

'It's the toughest situation in my lifetime and I have never felt so helpless.'

Prince David, Tearfund’s Country Director for India

In Bihar, India, in the last 48 hours the situation has become critical. The local government is evacuating people who live near the Kosi River, which has burst its banks.

Three Tearfund projects take place in this area. Our local partners were able to respond quickly to those in need. We are providing assistance and support to help them navigate this disaster.  

Meanwhile, in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, 87 people have been killed by monsoon flooding. The worst affected are people living along the banks of river Brahmaputra. Every inch the water level rises is putting more lives in danger. 

Feeling helpless
Prince David, Tearfund’s Country Director for India, says: ‘The two biggest challenges in responding to this crisis are, firstly, the lack of access to communities due to the water level rising way above the danger mark. Secondly, the lack of physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic exposes already vulnerable people to greater risk. It's the toughest situation in my lifetime and I have never felt so helpless.

‘Tearfund and our partners are identifying those who are most vulnerable, to provide them with food supplies and cash. It is our prayer that God will keep our field staff safe and grant them wisdom to travel safely to the worst affected areas. Thank you for praying and supporting Tearfund.’

Please join us in prayer for this urgent crisis. 

PLEASE PRAY

  • Pray for protection for people affected by the floods and landslides, and may they be able to access food, clean water and shelter.
  • Ask God to comfort those who have lost loved ones. May they know God’s peace and hope.
  • Pray for wisdom and resources for those who are responding to this crisis.
Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.