• Monday, Jun 14, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:56 pm

Flood-affected areas hit hard by erosion even as waters recede

  • Published at 09:30 pm July 7th, 2020
Jamalpur Flood
File photo: People use a boat as transport during the flood in Jamalpur on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Currently, the water level is above the danger mark at eight points only. At four of those points, the water level is decreasing

Although the flood situation in the country’s northern parts has improved due to a fall in water levels of all our major rivers, erosion has taken a serious turn in flood affected districts, rendering many people homeless.

Of the 101 water level monitoring stations across Bangladesh monitored by the Bangladesh Water Development Board , 63 stations observed a decrease in water levels, while 37 saw an increase. The water level was unchanged at one station.

Currently, the water level is above the danger mark at eight points only. At four of those points, the water level is decreasing.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) provided the information in their flood forecast on Tuesday morning.  

However, as people started to return home from the various institutional shelters in the affected areas, they found their homes still waterlogged, and croplands under threat of severe river erosion.

During the first five days of July, there were 14 to 16 points in rivers across the country where the water level was flowing above the danger mark.

According to FFWC, the flood situation may improve in Sirajganj, Rajbari, Faridpur, Dhaka, Munshiganj, and Shariatpur in the next 24 hours, while that of Natore and Naogaon may remain unchanged.

It also said the water levels of the Brahmaputra, the Jamuna, and the upper Meghna basin are falling, and that is expected to continue for the next 48 hours. The waters of the Padma and the Ganges basin may also go down in that same time period too. 

The Padma River has already gone below the danger level at Mawa point, while the Goalundo and Bhagyakul points of the mighty river also saw the waters recede somewhat.

Currently, the Padma River is flowing two centimeters above the danger mark at Bhagyakul point, 19 centimeters at Goalundo point, and 10 centimeters at Shoreswar point.

Affected people continue to suffer

In Kurigram, despite the water levels being below the danger point in 16 rivers, including the Brahmaputra, Dharla, and the Teesta, erosion has hit flood affected people very hard. 

Sardob, Mogholbasa and Nunkhawa flood control embankments were damaged due to erosion by the Brahmaputra, Teesta, and Dharla rivers in the last few days, reports UNB.

Over 500 families lost their dwellings due to river erosion in Joykumar, Thetai, and Kalirhat areas in Ulipur upazila.

Almost 200 meters of the Saardob flood control embankment was eaten up by the Teesta River, putting 20 villages under a flood threat.

Ariful Islam, an executive engineer at the local Water Development Board (WDB), said they have taken emergency steps to protect the areas from river erosion.

In Jamalpur, the overall flood situation in the district significantly improved when the Jamuna River dropped by 23 centimeters and was flowing at 10 centimeters below the danger level at Bahadurabad Ghat point in the last 24 hours.

According to district relief and rehabilitation office sources, over 396,744 people of a total of 351 villages in 49 unions under all seven upazilas of the district have been affected, reports BSS.

The local office of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said that standing crops on 4,455, out of 13,343 hectares of land have been damaged by floodwaters amounting to a loss of over Tk43.52 crore.

In Nilphamari, the floodwaters have been receding and were flowing 20 centimeters below the danger mark till 3pm on Tuesday on  theTeesta River. But people hit by the floods in six unions of Dimla upazila continue to suffer much hardship.

At least 3,245 people were marooned in the floods and they are currently facing a severe food crisis as most of their homes and properties are still underwater.

“Not only that, at least 79 families lost their homes to river erosion, and while most of the people of these villages are jobless, scarcity of food and living quarters are making things hard for them,” said Abdul Latif Khan, chairman of Chatnai union parishad.

District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer SA Hayat said: “We have provided 15kg of staple food to each of the 3,245 families.”

In Tangail, around 132,191 people in 137 villages have been marooned and 3,686 hectares of croplands flooded in six upazilas.

The numbers were confirmed by the office of district relief and rehabilitation.

As of Tuesday, at least 585 houses and other infrastructure got devoured by the Jamuna River, and as many as 1,065 structures, including houses, were partially damaged by river erosion.

“We are installing Geo Bags to save the erosion hit areas,” said Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of BWDB’s local branch.

In Magura, around 50 families were forced to shift from the banks of the Padma River to other places due to the threat of river erosion.

“I have informed local administration officials and other representatives about the severity of the situation but they are yet to take any action,” said Liakat Ali Biswas, chairman of Kadirpara union parishad.

Contacted, executive engineer of BWDB, Sarwar Jahan Sujon, said: “We have submitted an extensive plan to higher authorities for managing the situation. As soon as we get their approval, we will start the project.”

Our correspondents Anisur Rahman Swapan of Nilphamari, Abdullah Al Numan of Tangail, and Mazharul Haque Lipu of Magura, also contributed to this report

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