Four children drowned in different ponds in the districts of Khulna and Thakurgaon on Wednesday, the day of Eid. The children, aged between four and 10 years, included two siblings.
In Thakurgaon, the two siblings -- Shimu, 9 and Jannatun, 4, daughters of Shahabul Alam -- allegedly slipped into a pond near their house in Medinisagar village while playing on Wednesday afternoon.
Md Amirul Islam, officer-in-charge (investigation) of Haripur Police Station, said the kids were playing near the water body adjacent to their house in Haripur upazila's Medinisagar village.
"When they did not return home after a long time, their family members started searching for them. Later, locals found their bodies floating in the pond," he said.
A few hours later, two children drowned in a pond in Khulna. The duo had gone to take bath in the waterbody in their village Araji Dumuria in Dumuria upazila.
The deceased were identified as Mahim, 10, son of Mofizul Sheikh, and Taha, 7, daughter of Sirajul Sheikh. Both were madrasa students.
According to their relatives, both had gone to take bath in the pond and their bodies were later found floating in the waterbody.
Drowning in Bangladesh
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children under five in Bangladesh.
According to Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey (BHIS), nearly 17,000 children drown annually, an average of around 46 each day, in the country.
A cross-governmental taskforce was established on drowning prevention – led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with representation from 12 departments. The task force is working to prepare a ‘National Drowning Reduction Strategy’.
According to the WHO’s latest estimates, drowning is the cause of 235,000 deaths every year. Many countries, including Bangladesh, report drowning as a leading cause of childhood mortality, particularly in children under the age of five.