Recently riverbank erosion has taken a serious turn as Teesta, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Brahmaputra rivers have swelled due to incessant rainfall and onrush of water from India
No effective and visible initiative has been taken yet for rehabilitation despite thousands of locals losing their homes and vast tracts of croplands to river erosion in Kurigram.
Many poverty stricken families are currently living under open sky and waiting for rehabilitation after losing their habitations to recent erosion by Teesta, Dharla, Dudhkumar, and Brahmaputra rivers in the district.
According to the district’s Department of Disaster Management sources, a list having around 4,056 river erosion victims from Sadar, Rowmari, Rajibpur, Chilmari, Ulipur, and Nageshwari upazilas was sent to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief for assistance. However, they are yet to get any aid till the date.
On top of that, many victims in the list are those who had lost their homes to river erosion in the last year while many people are newly losing their habitations every day because of erosion.
Recently riverbank erosion has taken a serious turn in the district as Teesta, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Brahmaputra rivers have swelled due to incessant rainfall and onrush of water from India.
On September 16, around 15 families of Jagmon char area under Bhogdanga union in Sadar upazila were rendered homeless in the erosion by the Dharla River. As the erosion has recently intensified, many more families are at risk of losing their homesteads.
Chukkur Ali, a resident of Jagmon Char, said: “My six houses have been devoured by the river. Now I am currently making a house on the embankment. We have to live although no one is helping us.”
Saidur Rahman, chairman of Bhogdanga union, said: “In the last two days, many families have been pauperized after losing their homesteads to erosion by the Dharla River. Many more families along with a government primary school are under threat of river erosion.
“We have notified higher authorities about the ongoing riverbank erosion, but no initiative has been taken yet for rehabilitation and the erosion,” the chairman added.
Human habitations, schools, government and private installations, business enterprises and bazaars are being continuously devastated by river erosions, and people in the affected areas are losing everything.
In the last few weeks, around 100 families have lost their homes and vast croplands to erosion by Teesta in the Daldalia, Bazra and Thetrai unions under Ulipur upazila alone.
Roads and croplands with more than a hundred families are under threat of erosion in the upazila.
Residents of Bazra union said many families from 6, 7, and 9 no wards have been displaced by river erosion. They are now living on the embankment and have not been rehabilitated yet. Roads, croplands, mosques and schools are also being devoured by river, they said.
Bazra Union Parishad Chairman Rezaul Karim said: “Teesta has turned into devastating mode. Around 25 families in 7 no ward of the union have been rendered homeless due to erosion by Teesta. Besides many more establishments are under river erosion threat.”
Meanwhile, 50 families of Raiganj union under Nageshwari upazila have lost everything they owned in recent river erosion as the water level in the Dudkumar River has also risen. They are now living in makeshift houses with tarpaulin.
Raiganj Union Parishad Chairman Abdullah Al Walid said:”My union has fallen into crisis due to river erosion. Homesteads of 17 to 20 families have been devoured by the river, making them completely displaced and helpless.
“They have been only provided with food, nothing else. But a list of river erosion victims has been sent to the upazila administration for assistance,” he added.
Speaking on the issue, Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC)Md Rezaul Karim, said: “We are supplying food to the river erosion hit areas. The upazila nirbahi officers have been asked to supply food to the affected areas after every 10 to 15 days.”
When asked about the rehabilitation for the displaced locals, Md Rezaul Karim, said: “We have sent a list of river erosion victims to the department concerned. I hope we will get the allocation soon. Once we get the allocation, we will help erosion hit people with rehabilitation and building houses.”