• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 03:07 am

Satkhira coastal areas at flood risk from aging embankments

  • Published at 01:09 pm April 29th, 2019
web-river embankments-satkhira
Locals try to temporarily repair the embankment that collapsed into the river in Pratapnagar union of Satkhira Dhaka Tribune

A large portion of the embankments across Satkhira could collapse this coming rainy season

The low lying areas of two villages in Satkhira's Assasuni upazila have been inundated after the embankment bars on the Kholpetua river cracked. 

Around 100 feet of embankment wall in Kola village in Pratapnagar union of the upazila collapsed into the river. 

The collapse flooded the low areas of the Kola and Hizlia villages. Several houses and over a hundred fish enclosures have been marooned and damaged. 

If not repaired quickly, some 250 kilometers of the embankments across Satkhira might collapse in the coming rainy season. 

According to sources concerned, two rivers—the Kapotakkha and Kholpetua—flow through seven unions in the Shyamnagar and Assasuni upazilas of the cyclone-Aila-hit district. 

Moreover, the embankment on the Ichamati river, flowing through parts of the Debhata upazila, have also become dilapidated due to a lack of overhaul. 

The embankment bars in these areas are in such ramshackle condition that they could collapse anytime; resulting a huge amount of land being submerged.

According to the Water Development Board, around 250 kilometers of the 799.10 kilometer-long embankments in the district have been labeled extremely risky.    

Subrata Mandal, a resident of Kamalkati village under Padmapukur union of Shyamnagar upazila, said: "The embankment's condition—in the Kamalkati, Purbapatakhali, Chaulkhola and Banyatala villages of Padmapukur union—is very risky and might collapse anytime."

Padmapukur Union Chairman SM Ataur Rahman said nearly six kilometers of the embankments in his union are badly decayed.

Masudul Alam, chairman of Gabura union in Shyamnagar upazila, also said the barrage in his union and adjacent areas is extremely vulnerable after being damaged by two cyclones — Aila and Sidr. He also complained about negligence of duty by the Water Development Board as it is their duty to look after the well-being of the dam.

According to sources, there are 377.10 kilometers of embankment line under Water Development Board 1 in Satkhira. Sixty kilometers of that embankment line is damaged. 

On the other, Water Development Board 2 is responsible for 422 kilometers of embankment line. One hundred and fifty kilometers of the line is also damaged. 

Arifuzzaman Khan, executive engineer of Water Development Board 2, said: "We have sent notice to the higher authority concerned about the embankment's risky condition. Necessary steps will be taken after receiving funds."

Meanwhile, Ekata Jubo Sangha and development organization BARCIK staged a human chain in Padmapukur union's Kamalkati village; demanding the repair of the embankments on Kholpetua and Kapatakkha rivers. People of all strata of life took part in the human chain.