From July to September 1998, floods of unprecedented extent and intensity inundated Bangladesh. The floods caused grave human suffering, greatly disrupted normal life and activity, and seriously damaged infrastructure.
In response to the Government's request for rehabilitation assistance, ADB approved the Flood Damage Rehabilitation Project to help rehabilitate key infrastructure damaged by the floods, thereby enabling the restoration of normal levels of economic and social activity. The Project followed ADB's policy, drafted in 1995, on rehabilitation assistance after disasters.
The overall project rating was lowered from "highly successful" at the project completion report stage to "successful" at evaluation stage to reflect issues of efficiency and sustainability. The Project was rated relevant, highly effective, efficient, and less likely to be sustainable.
While the roads rehabilitated were found to be useful immediately after rehabilitation, they were inadequately maintained, causing several sections to fall into disrepair. The flood control and irrigation facilities were found to be in fair condition although the "patch and mend" approach to rehabilitating them could be altered. Several sections of the rural roads were found to be in poor condition, although the overall quality of roads was better because of low traffic levels combined with lighter vehicles plying the road.
The rehabilitation of sections of the railway network had several procurement and implementation problems owing to the Bangladesh Railway's cumbersome procedures. Although the outputs of the completed contracts were satisfactory, a few contracts were terminated because of delays. Lack of maintenance has been a serious issue for this part.
Subprojects relating to slum rehabilitation were difficult to locate owing to the Dhaka City Corporation's inadequate records. However, subprojects relating to urban roads rehabilitated by the Local Government Engineering Department were found to be useful immediately after completion, although they were not adequately maintained by the municipal authority that took over their operation and maintenance.
The repair of school buildings and provision of furniture included several subprojects that did not satisfy project criteria. The operations evaluation mission observed that some of these buildings were damaged and in need of urgent repairs.