Monsoon flooding in Bangladesh

In 2019 heavy monsoon rains triggered severe flooding, leaving a third of the country underwater.

Find out more about the situation and how we supported families affected the most.

Heavy monsoon rains triggered severe flooding in Bangladesh, leaving a large part of the country underwater.

We supported families who lost their homes with essential aid items to help them rebuild and recover.

Find out more about the situation in Bangladesh and how we helped families who were affected the most.


What happened?

In July 2019, heavy monsoon rains triggered flooding in the low-lying areas of Bangladesh. Around one-third of the country went underwater.  

Flooding during the monsoon season is an annual event. But continuous rain and flooding in neighbouring Nepal and India had an impact in Bangladesh’s two major river systems in the north. This resulted in water levels rising to their highest in 100 years (source: IFRC).

Bangladesh is no stranger to water-related disasters like extreme flooding.

In August 2017, heavy monsoon rains above the seasonal average severely impacted the riverine region of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. This led to intense flooding in almost two-thirds of Bangladesh (source: ReliefWeb).

The impact of the disaster

makeshift shelters in Bangladesh

The floods were devastating for the communities affected.

Floods and landslides damaged roads and vital infrastructure leaving thousands of people stranded and without electricity. More than 66,000 homes were destroyed.

Food and clean water shortages were being reported, as well as a rise in waterborne diseases like malaria.

Flooding can be extremely damaging for communities that experience it. Access to clean water is usually scarce, leading to serious health concerns like disease outbreaks.

Find out more about floods and how they can affect people.

Source: ReliefWeb

How many people were affected?

  • As of 30 July, 7.3 million people had been directly affected (source: UN Bangladesh).
  • Around 308,800 people were forced to leave their homes in search of higher and safer ground.
  • More than half a million homes were damaged or completely destroyed, leaving even more families with no shelter or protection.
  • 85% of the overall displacement took place in the nine most affected districts Jamalpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Sylhet, Sirajganj, Tangail, Sunamganj, Bogra and Bandarban.
a boat in an overflowed river in Bangladesh

How did ShelterBox respond?

Our teams travelled to Bangladesh to take needs assessments, in order to understand what people needed to start recovering from the disaster. 

They met with local Rotary and government contacts as well as key humanitarian partners. These partners included the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), who we partnered with back in 2017.

Families told us that they need more space and protection from the elements. They also told us they would use shelter kits and tarpaulins to avoid crowding in host families’ homes by creating more living and cooking space.

Tarpaulins were also identified as useful items for future flooding events.

Our response targeted the flood-affected char communities of Kurigram in north-western Bangladesh, focusing on families who lost their land to river erosion. 

The word char refers to floodplain sediment islands (‘island chars’) or sand bars that are connected to the mainland (‘attached chars’).

Island chars remain disconnected from mainland either seasonally or throughout the year.

In total we supported over 500 families with essential aid items.

No family without shelter

We want to see a world where no family is left without shelter after disaster.

But we can’t do it alone. Your generous donation helps us reach more families who have been devastated by disasters like Cyclone Idai in Malawi, and severe flooding in Paraguay.

Please donate today and support families with their recovery journey.

Donate now