Satkhira’s coastal areas have been facing a freshwater crisis since cyclone Aila.
Gabura of Shyamnagar upzila, Padmapukur, Pratapnagar of Ashashuni upazila, Anulia and some areas of Kaliganj are suffering from increasing salinity in the water.
The water filters provided by NGOs are not functional anymore. Hence, it has become challenging to collect water.
The absence of freshwater has caused various diseases in these areas, such as skin diseases, cholera, diarrhoea, and other waterborne diseases.
Crops and plants are dying out. Shrimp farming is at risk as well.
Inhabitants are therefore migrating in search of better employment opportunities.
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The absence of freshwater has caused various diseases in these areas, such as skin diseases, cholera, diarrhoea, and other waterborne diseases Asaduzzaman/Dhaka Tribune
Locals believe that lack of freshwater is also causing more miscarriages.
In the past 10 years, the population of Shyamnagar’s 12 unions has increased to 4473 only. The whole district is struggling with freshwater crisis, not just Shyamnagar.
Even when it is reported by the government that 67% of the district’s population is gaining access to freshwater, more than 50% is actually being deprived of this facility.
Birth rate stands at 1.59% according to the national census. However, in Shyamnagar upazila it is less than 1%.
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Crops and plants are dying out. Shrimp farming is at risk as well Asaduzzaman/Dhaka Tribune
Sources say that the increase in population is particularly slow due to the lack of freshwater as there are higher miscarriages.
2011 census shows a total of 3,18,254, of which 1,64,813 are women and 1,53,441 men, Md Kamruzzaman, the district’s executive official said.
The Executive of Satkhira’s Department of Public Health Engineering, Aminul Islam said that 30 ponds will be utilized as freshwater sources.
Kamruzzaman said: “Several measures have been taken to counter the water crisis. Deep water wells have been installed by many educational institutions along with bigger water tanks. Ponds are being remodeled to access freshwater.
“A project of the United Nations climate trust has been acquired recently, which will allow us to collect rainwater and distribute to people’s homes. Several private organizations are also involved alongside governmental agencies,” he added.