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River erosion in Jhalokati worsens because of Cyclone Fani

  • Published at 04:52 pm May 9th, 2019
The devastation caused by river erosion at Dhaka Tribune

A school and mosque are on the verge of crumbling into the Bishkhali River

Devastating erosion along the Bishkhali River has taken a serious turn as a result of Cyclone Fani in Mathbari union of Rajapur upazila, Jhalokati.

According to the locals, multiple establishments—including Badurtala School and a local mosque—are on the verge of being washed away by the consequences of aggressive river erosion. The river is threatening increasingly more areas. It will affect the lives of more than three hundred students and countless locals.

The water level rose in different parts of the Bishkhali River, due to Cyclone Fani, which is causing the erosion. The river has already swallowed: Badurtala Launch Terminal, Badurtala bazar, adjacent streets, houses, schools, dams, roads, business establishments, mosques, over the last few days; and initiatives by the authorities concerned do not appear to have prevented the erosion, locals said.

A tenth-grade student of the partially-washed-away Badurtola School, Sathi Akter said: "We are SSC examinees and our studies are greatly hampered due to the destruction the erosion is causing. We urge the respective authorities to take prompt steps and help us continue our studies."

The Headmaster of Badurtala School said: "We asked the officials of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education and Upazila Nirbahi Officers (UNO) to help us save the school multiple times. Half of the school premises has been devoured by the river already. If no initiative to build a dam or embankment is taken by the administration, the school will completely crumble into the river."

Chairman of Mathbari Union Parishad, Mostafa Kamal Sikder said: "We tried to get help from the authority but with no visible feedback from them we are trying to transfer the school onto some new land. Even that seems unlikely because of a lack of money.

Locals have become infuriated as no effective measures have been taken by the authorities to stop the breakdown and save their land.

They were alarmed by the intensity of the erosion. Fearing the sudden collapse of their houses and other assets, locals resorted to moving their houses to other areas.