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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Dhaka floods prompt sewage fears
By Roland Buerk
BBC correspondent in Dhaka

Boy in Dhaka flood
Weather experts say the flood situation could get worse
Concern is growing about the spread of disease in Bangladesh's flooded capital, Dhaka.

About 40% of the city is under water and in places the sewage system has failed, with brown and stinking water flowing through the streets.

Already thousands of people are complaining of diarrhoea.

As monsoon rains continue, millions of people in the city get their drinking water from tube wells and the fear is that many are becoming contaminated.

Makeshift shelters

The situation has got so bad that even the tap water is beginning to smell.

Family travelling towards relief centre in Dhaka
Many have had to leave their homes in search of drier ground

The floods have made life especially difficult for the very poorest in the city.

Slums are built on low-lying ground and most have been under water for days.

Some people have moved out to find dry land, building makeshift shelters from plastic sheeting and bamboo on the pavements in areas that are on higher ground.

In some parts of the city boats are now the only way to get about.

The flood situation in the country is yet to deteriorate to such a level that would warrant the government to declare a state of emergency
Disaster Management Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf

People buying them are complaining that prices have doubled in the last few weeks.

Flood forecasters say there is no relief in sight.

The rivers in the central area of Bangladesh that includes the capital are likely to rise further in the coming days.

The BBC's Roland Buerk
"Even the tap-water is beginning to smell"

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21 Jul 04  |  South Asia
Bangladesh battles flood chaos
20 Jul 04  |  South Asia
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20 Jul 04  |  In Pictures
South Asia flood misery spreads
17 Jul 04  |  South Asia

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