Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Dreams crumble to dust as erosion sweeps away homes

This monsoon season alone, 50 families have lost their homes and livelihoods due to land erosion 

Update : 02 Sep 2021, 11:03 AM

Not only the Teesta, but the Gangadhar river has also turned turbulent in Kurigram.

Over the past few weeks, the raging river has swallowed large swathes of land in Nageshwari, rendering several families homeless. 

Jalepara, Ramdatta and Raghurvita villages are the worst affected.

This monsoon season alone, 50 families have lost their homes and livelihoods due to land erosion by the Gangadhar river.

Every year, the river is swollen by seasonal rains and the erosion mainly takes place after the water from the monsoon subsides and the brittle soil on the banks collapses.

Despite the erosion eating into the village roads and farmlands, residents claim, no effective measures have been taken by the authorities yet, and they now live under the fear of losing their lives too.

Many homeless people have now taken shelter at Raghurvita Government Primary School. Chandra and Bhanuram Biswas of Jalepara are among the unfortunate ones.

"Every time, the river swallows our homes, we are forced to start from the beginning. This time, we have lost everything -- house, belongings and some money we had saved for the rainy day," the duo said.

Kaledanga Jame Mosque, Ramdatta Jame Mosque, Ramdatta Mahila Hafeza Madrasa, Krishnapur Nurani Hafezia Madrasa, and the only paved road in Krishnapur now stand threatened by the Gangadhar.

Photo shows a damaged riverside caused by erosion in Kurigram district | UNB

Akmal Hossain, a public representative, told UNB that the Water Development Board didn't take any visible steps this monsoon to prevent the problem that has been prevailing for years now.

Officials of the Water Development Board, however, said that a project for protecting the riverbank from erosion has already been sent to the higher authorities for approval.

"The proposal was sent to the headquarters two years ago, but we are still waiting for approval. We need a permanent solution to the problem. Temporary steps won’t be effective unless an embankment is constructed,” said sub-divisional engineer Omar Faruk Md Mokhtar Hossain.

On August 23, UNB reported how over 100 families in Ulipur upazila of Kurigram district lost their homes to erosion by the Teesta river in just one week.

Villages like Arjun in Daldalia Union and Gorai Pier, Dalal Para, Hokdanga and Doctor Para in Thetrai Union of the upazila have been hit the hardest by the turbulent river.

Five educational institutions, two community clinics, roads and one hundred acres of arable land now stand threatened due to the gushing water from the river, locals said.

At least 500 families of these areas have turned paupers as they lost their homes and land this monsoon alone, the UNB correspondent reported after visiting the affected areas. 

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