Impact and adaptation to flood: A focus on water supply, sanitation and health problems of rural community in Bangladesh

Annya Chanda Shimi, Gulsan Ara Parvin, Chaitee Biswas, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper intends to examine the impacts of flood on water supply and sanitation condition along with flood induced health problems in a rural community of Bangladesh. It also aims to explore a rural community's adaptation approaches to flood. Design/methodology/approach: This research relied on intensive field investigation where 120 households from different villages were selected randomly for questionnaire survey. Sampling was taken from different villages which were the most badly flood affected areas during all previous floods of Bangladesh. Field investigation was conducted in January 2007. Findings: Flood is a common feature of the study area. Water supply and sanitation condition become severely disrupted during flood when it embraces various water borne diseases. During every flood about two-thirds of the tube-wells and all toilets become unusable. As an adaptation approach tube-wells have been either placed on an elevated base or raised with an extra pipe. But owing to using hanging latrines or a boat and defecating directly into water bodies most people pollute those water bodies. Although majority of the people suffer from different water borne diseases no remarkable adaptation approach is followed. Few people store any emergency medicine before a flood and sometimes take treatment from local rural doctors. Practical implications: By highlighting the nature and extent of impacts of flood on water supply, sanitation and health condition along with the adaptation this study urges the need for special attention and improvement of these sectors of rural Bangladesh under flood management programs of government and non-government organizations. Originality/value: This paper facilitates the understanding of the impact of floods on water supply, sanitation and health condition of rural people, which are not well addressed. At the same time its helps to learn lessons from their adaptation to flood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-313
Number of pages16
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • Diseases
  • Floods
  • Personal health
  • Sanitary engineering
  • Water supply

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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