Forest officials say this flooding of all ponds will create a scarcity of fresh drinking water for both people and wildlife in and around the forest
Fresh water ponds in the Sundarbans have become salinated as Cyclone Amphan has flooded most parts of the mangrove forest with sea water.
Forest officials say this flooding of all ponds will create a scarcity of fresh drinking water for both people and wildlife in and around the forest.
“Most of the forest land is now 2-3 feet underwater. The flooding of all the ponds by salt water has created a scarcity of fresh drinking water. Around 300 forest officials and staffs are dependent on these ponds for drinking water,” Md Bashirul-Al Mamun, divisional forest officer at Sundarban west division in Khulna, told Dhaka Tribune on Thursday.
He also said the weather remains rough on the west division of the Sundarbans compare to east division.
“The weather in the west division remains very rough till now. Our foresters are not being able to enter the forest due to adverse weather. We have formed a committee to assess the nature and size of destruction of trees and wildlife from the cyclone. He committee will submit a report within three days, he said.
“During the rainy season, we will try to collect fresh water from rainwater harvesting system,” he said, adding that from experience, he believes it will take the ponds some three to four years to become fresh again.
Md Belayet Hosen, divisional forest officer Sundarban east division in Bagerhat, said: “So far, we have collected information and learnt that not much of the wildlife was affected and some trees were uprooted by the storm.
“The major loss that had occurred was the ponds being flooded by salt water,” he said.