Has COVID-19 compounded the risk to the people affected by floods? Flooding (fluvial, pluvial, tidal and storm surge) affects the lives, livelihoods and socio-economic activities of millions of people every year and displaces them from their homesteads, communities and socio-cultural setting.
During extreme events, people are forced to move to shelters where they have to share space and resources in close contact with many people. Such congregations may considerably increase the risk of the spread of the virus unless appropriate physical distancing and health safety measures are ensured at the shelters. To combat the spread of the virus causing COVID-19, a third of the global population is currently in a lockdown, which causes restrictions on people’s movement and a ban on congregating outdoors. The lockdown has also severely damaged the livelihoods and socio-economic activities of communities affected by the dual disasters.
In an article co-written by Prof. Chris Zevenbergen with professional colleagues from Myanmar and Bangladesh, they explore how the compounded impact is affecting the vulnerable communities, and how they can cope with the evolving situation. They ask is COVID-19 teaching us new lessons in flood disaster management? Read the article here.