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Dhaka Tribune

Floods continue to worsen in the north, but relief remains a far cry

Farmers are estimating the huge losses they might suffer in the wake of the floods, while the rest of the flood-hit people are waiting to get relief or food assistance from the government

Update : 02 Jul 2020, 11:04 PM

The flood situation has worsened in several northern districts of the country, with people living these areas facing their worst nightmare with their houses, croplands, livestock and ponds still under water.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), water levels may continue to rise in the Padma, Brahmaputra, Dhaleswari and Jamuna river, causing further damage to the adjacent areas.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has forecast heavy to extreme rainfall in the northern part of the country, which may increase the water level of the rivers crossing through the areas.

In this situation, while the farmers of the districts are estimating the huge losses they might suffer in the wake of the floods, the rest of the flood-hit people are waiting to get relief or food assistance from the government and passing their days in conditions of starvation.

In Tangail, the rising water level of the Jamuna river --that left 1,24,571 people of 93 villages and 4,575 hectares of land inundated-- is receding in the district.

Although the water level was still above the danger mark at the Jamuna by 41cm, the Dhaleswari by 83cm and the Jhinai by 47cm till Thursday morning, BWDB sources said conditions would remain steady for the rest of the week.

Locals said that the flood situation was worsening in the district and yet they were not getting enough food relief from the local administration.

Meanwhile, the agriculture office of the district feared that the waterlogged crop fields might cause a huge loss as most of the crop fields of the area are underwater.

In Jamalpur, over three lakh people of 42 unions in six upazilas and eight municipalities remained waterlogged, confirmed Abdul Mannan, gauge reader of BWDB.

The water level was still 77cm above the danger mark till Thursday afternoon and could rise even further, he said.

Around ten thousand hectares of croplands in the district have been inundated. The crops include jute, Aush, seedbeds of Aman paddy, vegetables, teel and maize, said Aminul Islam, according to the department of agriculture extension.

Though the district’s Relief and Rehabilitation officer, Md Nayeb Ali, said a sufficient amount of relief was being distributed among the flood-affected people, local residents claimed that they were in acute shortage of food as well as shelter.

In Naogaon, persistent rain and rising water levels have inundated thousands of hectares of croplands and washed away fish from hundreds of ponds.

Local sources said floodwaters entered Manda upazila through a broken embankment, leaving hundreds of villages of Tetulia and Kalikapur unions waterlogged.

In Sunamganj, as many as 500 fish farmers in Sunamganj have suffered huge losses, estimated at around Tk21 crore, in this year's floods that washed away their ponds.

After the floods inundated 2,846 ponds in the district, about 2,846 tons of fish from the ponds escaped into the floodwaters, according to the Fisheries Department in Sunamganj.

According to the District Fisheries Office, persistent heavy rainfall upstream has flooded local haors and rivers in 11 upazilas of the district. 

At least 1,21,743 fishermen, who have invested in these water bodies in the area, will suffer a great loss because of the floods, said the officer.

Meanwhile, the floods have inundated 40% of land, leading to at least 1,21,354 families and 3,265 hectares of land being waterlogged, said the local administration.



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