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Flooding Challenges Bangladesh Manufacturing, Transportation

From: ASAP

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More than half of the country's 64 districts are under water, up to 20 million people are marooned or homeless, and the government is considering appealing for international aid.

The capital city is now almost fully surrounded by flood water, and road and rail communications between Dhaka and the major port city Chittagong are likely to be curtailed if the situation does not improve soon.

International flights and feeder vessels are operating without difficulty. However, the problems hampering inland transportation could cause delays getting goods from factories to the sea and airport. This may disrupt connections with feeder vessels.

One third of the garment factories in the Dhaka and Narayanganj areas have been hit by ground floor flooding. If water levels rise two to four inches over the next few days, more factories will be affected.

According to the flood coordination cell of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), a total of 1,601 apparel factories, including knit and woven sweater manufacturing units, were affected the last couple of days in and around Dhaka. Some 500,000 more workers could also be impacted if the flooding gets worse. BGMEA urged the government to take steps to ensure the transportation of export-oriented garment products to the port of Chittagong for timely shipments.

We will closely monitor the flooding situation and will keep you posted with updates.

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July 27 2004

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