Flood situation in Habiganj has worsened after a portion of the Khowai River dyke in Lakhai Upazila gave in to the onrush of water from the upstream, inundating over 10,000 hectares of cropland.
The badly maintained embankment, supposed to be repaired before the flood usually hits the area, was shattered on Monday morning and inundated the adjacent areas.
The Khowai River was flowing 70cm above the danger level on Sunday.
With the latest, a total of 55,000 hectares of cropland have been flooded since the flash flood hit the low-lying Haor areas in north-eastern districts late last month.
At least 16,000 farmers have become destitute after losing everything. Many of them have started harvesting the half-ripen Boro paddy due to the increasing water level.
This year, a total of 116,000 hectares of land were brought under Boro cultivation.
Farmer of Bulla village Abdul Ahad told the Dhaka Tribune that he, along with his family, had been in a serious trouble after losing everything in the flood.
“We have to starve in the coming days if the situation continues,” he lamented. “But the government’s assistance might ease the situation a bit,” Ahad hoped.
Another farmer Moti Mia said that he cultivated paddy after taking loan and now he had become bewildered as the flood inundated all his lands.
Moti, like his other fellow farmers, also believes that the government assistance can ameliorate the situation to a certain extent.
Lakhai Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Alamgir Hossain alleged that the embankment had been damaged due to negligence of the Water Development Board (WDB) officials.
They could not complete the repair work in time despite being provided with necessary funds for the project, he added.
Habiganj WDB Executive Officer Tawhidul Islam said that he had no idea about anomalies in the repair project since he joined the post recently.
“But I will certainly look into the matter,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
Tawhidul said that they had alerted the people on the riverbank about the rise in water level and possible damage to the embankments.
“Our officials are ready to tackle any situation,” he claimed.