• Friday, Sep 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:46 pm

Suffering intensifies with floodwaters stagnant for weeks

  • Published at 09:30 pm July 26th, 2020
Kaloshona village in Uriya union of Gaibandha's Fulchhari upazila have been remaining under water. Photo takenn on Sunday, July 26, 2020
Kaloshona village in Uriya union of Gaibandha's Fulchhari upazila have been remaining under floodwaters on Sunday, July 26, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

The major rivers were still flowing above the danger mark at 10 points in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura, and Sirajganj districts at 9 am today

The floods continued to aggravate in several districts of the country causing further agony to locals though the flooding remained mostly stable in eight northern districts during the last 24 hours ending 9am Sunday.

Officials of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) said the water levels of major rivers marked a fall at most points during the period, with a possibility of improvement in the next 48 to 72 hours.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of BWDB, no notable monsoon rains were recorded, both upstream of the northeastern Indian states, as well as downstream in the Brahmaputra basin during the last 24 hours.

The major rivers were still flowing above the danger mark at 10 points in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Bogura, and Sirajganj districts at 9 am today.

In Gaibandha, although the water level of the Ghaghat, Karatoya and Teesta rivers has been steady in the last 24 hours, the Brahmaputra river has been flowing 98cm above the danger mark at Fulchhari point of the river.

The fluctuating water levels have waterlogged at least 1,50,000 people in 31 unions of 7 upazilas, according to the district’s BWDB sources.Flood in Jamalpur. Photo taken on Sunday, July 26, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

In Jamalpur, the stagnant flood--which has waterlogged the district for 26 consecutive days-- marooned 10,00,000 people in 677 villages of 59 unions till Sunday.

The Jamuna river was flowing 112cm above the danger mark at  Bahadurabad point on Sunday afternoon, which is alarming, said BWDB sources.

Though local representatives had taken significant steps to help the poor, their misery is immeasurable, said UNO Mizanur Rahman.

The water level will continue to rise until July 28 and the flood situation will deteriorate in the district, said Abu Syed, executive engineer of BWDB.

In Tangail, the water levels of the Dhaleshwari, Jamuna, and Jhinai rivers have been significantly swelling above the danger mark, leaving at least 2,00,000 people marooned in the district.

Like most flood-hit districts, consistent flooding has caused huge damage to the agricultural region, leaving more than 10,000 hectares of cropland under water.

River erosion will intensify the damage caused by the floods and it will begin again, soon after the waters recede in the area, said Sirajul Islam, executive engineer of BWDB.A part of the damaged roads in Kurigram that fell victim to ongoing flood continued for about a month. Photo taken on Sunday, July 26, 2020 | Dhaka Tribune

In Kurigram, people hit by the floods are suffering from a shortage of food and government assistance as they struggle to survive and worry over a bleak future.

The inundation of vast swathes of areas in the district has caused another problem—shortage of fodder. The situation could force farmers to sell their cows at nominal prices ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

In some areas, houses have been flooded, forcing hundreds of people to live under the open sky. Besides, many people are starving as they did not receive adequate government aid.

In Rajshahi, the incessant rise of most rivers in the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins has further worsened the flood situation in the region.

Water levels in the rivers of the two basins rose at 40 points, receded at 18 points, and remained stable at two points, which further aggravated the flood situation in the char (river bed) and other low-lying areas, reports BSS.

In Pabna, around 20 thousand families of one hundred villages in five upazilas of district have been marooned as they were waterlogged.

Many of the affected areas are also facing massive river erosion.

In Sirajganj, countless people have become homeless and destitute owing to the river erosion. 

The affected people have taken refuge in shelter centres for their safety, leaving behind their belongings including furniture, household goods, and even cattle.

In Rangpur also, farmers have been hit hard by the floods.  The government, through the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), has taken frantic steps to assist affected farmers in recouping crop losses caused by floods in two phases in the Rangpur agriculture region.

Muhammad Ali, additional director of the DAE for the Rangpur region, said on Sunday that the second phase of the deluge has submerged standing crops on 12,294 hectares of land in 30 affected upazilas of all five districts in the region.

During the first phase of the deluge, standing crops on 13,465 hectares of land were submerged. Of those, crops on 8,612 hectares of land were totally damaged causing production losses of 32,664 tons of crops worth Tk104.83 crore in the region.

Our correspondents Tajul Islam Reja, Gaibandha, Ariful Islam, Kurigram, Abdullah Al Numan, Tangail, Bishwajit Deb, Jamalpur, contributed to the report.

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