Main environmental impacts caused by the flooding.
- River bank erosion, especially on embankments areas close to the main channels
- Soil erosion
- Water logging, particularly in urban areas
- Water contamination with its associated health risks.
The government, working with non-governmental organisations provided emergency relief in the form of rice, clothing, medicines, blankets and towels. In july, the UN activated a disaster management team to coordinate the activities of the various UN agencies. They supplied critical emeregency supplies and constructed a 'damage and needs assessment' in the affected areas. Bilateral aid from individual countries was directed to the UN team. People in Bangledesh are resilient, and self-help schemes in which local people work together to rebuild thier properties and lives, are common.
For a developing country such as Bangledesh, long term responses to major floods are largely dependent on foreign aid from both offical and unofficial sources. In the past, river management schemes implemented by foreigners and funded by aid have proven inadequate. Such schemes paid little attention to local knowledge of rivers and many attempts at river management failed. More recently small-scale community-based projects have resulted in lives being saved. Flood shelters and early-warning systems have been successfully put in place.
Following the 2004 floods, additional financial aid was granted for a period of 5 years. This was mainly in a form of a loan from the World Bank, to pay for in the first instance, repairs to infastructure, water resource management and education.
Disaster prepardness is a key priority for the future. This includes flood management and improved water resources. It is also planned that, in future, flood-resistant designs should be used in all social and economic infastructure projects.