Water Development Board (WDB) authorities having inspected the affected area, found homes already devoured by the Kumar River, and the remaining homes that are standing on unstable grounds, are at risk of collapse
After having to cope with loss of life and properties to the Padma, Arial Kha, and Kumar rivers during this year’s rainy season, at least a hundred people in Madaripur municipality now face fresh threats from the Kumar River erosion.
Large cracks, stretching for one kilometre, have recently developed on the riverbanks from Haikkar Mar Ghat to AR Hawlader Jute Mill, where a 300 metres stretch is in critical condition, putting around a hundred people at risk of damages and casualties.
Water Development Board (WDB) authorities having inspected the affected area, found homes already devoured by the Kumar River, and the remaining homes that are standing on unstable grounds, are at risk of collapse.
Families prone to erosion, say they often remain awake at night and take turns guarding their property and children as they fear the situation may drastically worsen at any moment.
Ali Ghorami, Chunnu Goura, Murad Hawlader, Abul Kalam Hawlader and Mosharrof Hossain are among the people who have already lost their homes to the Kumar River erosion.
Madaripur WDB Executive Engineer Partha Pratim Saha said: "We have already dumped 8,000 sandbags in a 200 metre area for damage control. We have also begun dumping sandbags in further 300 metres of the riverbank.
"We will take up a project to build a permanent dam before the next year's rainy season," said the WDB engineer.
Madaripur Deputy Commissioner Md Wahidul Islam said: “Steps have been taken to ensure safety of the people in erosion prone areas. Further support will be provided as deemed necessary.”
Earlier this year, the people of Madaripur had to deal with river erosions during the rainy season. As many as 3,000 members of 800 families in four upazilas had fallen prey to erosion of the Padma, Arial Kha, and Kumar rivers. Locals had to suffer immensely while living under the open sky for some time, having lost all their belongings.
Essential infrastructure such as upazila health complexes, markets, roads, and school buildings had been washed away in Madaripur Sadar, Kalkini, Rajoir, and Shibchar upazilas.