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Dhaka Tribune

Bandarban flood causes 700C in damage, affects 20,000 families

  • Locals believe damage could exceed Tk1,000 crore
  • Over 10 deaths, 100 injuries reported
  • 6,569 homes, 132 educational institutions damaged
Update : 19 Aug 2023, 04:50 PM

In the wake of torrential rain-triggered flash floods, Bandarban has suffered extensive damage estimated at over Tk700 crore, as reported by local authorities, and the flooding has affected around 20,000 families.

Although the government claims a loss of Tk700 crore, locals believe that the damage to government and private offices, businesses and houses in seven upazilas of the district will exceed Tk1,000 crore.

According to the local administration, 25 years after the last big flood, this year's flood caused extensive damage, the death toll in the floods exceeded 10 and more than 100 people were injured. As many as 6,569 homes and 132 educational institutions were damaged.

According to the Bangladesh Water Development Board, the Sangu River in the district was flowing 5 metres above the danger level due to excessive rainfall and an onrush of water from upstream. In 1997, it had reached a level of 5.5 metres above the danger mark. Additionally, the water level of the Matamuhuri River was also 3.5 metres above the danger level, which exacerbated the extent of flood damage.

Chittagong Divisional Commissioner Md Tofail Islam said 2,000km of roads have been damaged in the Bandarban floods. It has caused a loss of about Tk1,00 crore.

Electricity, internet 

After the flood, the internet system in the district was severely damaged, but now the electricity and internet systems are normal. In Thanchi and Ruma upazilas, the power supply system collapsed, and locals are still in the dark. The Power Division is working day and night to ensure the power supply. 

Bandarban’s Bangladesh Power Development Board Executive Engineer Syed Amir Hossain said: "The flood has damaged the supply line, electric poles collapsed, transformers were damaged… the district and upazila power offices were submerged in water, the damage could be hundreds of crores of taka."

Impact on agriculture 

Bandarban Department of Agricultural Extension Deputy Director (crop) Hasan Ali said: “We reported extensive losses caused by the flood. Approximately 8,853 hectares of crops owned by 71,000 farmers in the district have been affected.”

The damaged crops include varieties such as Aman and Rupa paddy, as well as bananas, papayas, cashew nuts and vegetables.

Communication 

Various roads, including the Milon Chhori-Chimbuk-Nilgiri road from Bandarban's Thanchi Road, have suffered damage, leading to collapse.

Due to the closure of roads connecting the district with Thanchi and Ruma upazilas, communication in these upazilas now relies on waterways. It might take up to a month to initiate road repairs and restore normal traffic flow.

Bandarban Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) Executive Engineer Md Ziaul Islam Majumder said: "Out of 900km of roads in the district, 300km have been damaged. Around Tk150 crore is required to repair the roads. The renovation work will be started soon after getting the allocation."

Bandarban Roads and Highways Department Executive Engineer Mosleh Uddin said: "Of the 181km of roads under the supervision of the Bangladesh Army (ECB), 50km have been badly damaged. The loss amounts to Tk30 crore."

The Bandarban-Keranihat highway, the main road of the district, including 21 bridges, 15 culverts and 21 kilometres of drainage infrastructure, was constructed at a cost of Tk266.56 crore, and many places of this highway have been destroyed. 

Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board Executive Engineer Yasir Arafat said: "The damage caused by the flood and landslides on various roads of the development board in the district has been Tk42 crore. "

Impact on fisheries 

District Fisheries Officer Abhijit Shil said: “One hundred sixty fish farming projects with 430 water bodies and dykes of the fisheries department have been affected. The loss amounts to about Tk3 crore.”

He said 150 water bodies and 30 lakes have been washed away in Lama upazila.

Education sector losses

According to the district primary education office, 127 primary schools in the district were submerged, causing a loss of Tk1.39 crore. Due to the negligence of officials and employees, everything including 28,000 books of the district public library and all the documents of the office was destroyed.

In addition, many public and private secondary schools have been affected.

Impact on tourism

The collapse of the main roads in Ruma and Thanchi upazilas of Bandarban, along with the submergence of hotels and motels, caused significant damage to the tourism industry. Road connections between Ruma, Thanchi and other upazilas were severed.

Bandarban Hotel Motel Owners Association Finance Secretary Rajiv Barua said: “Due to flooding, hotels and motels were submerged and the roads leading to tourist spots have been damaged. As a result, the tourist spots in the district as well as hotel resorts are empty. More than 500 tourist vehicles, hotel and motel staff, and tourist guides are unemployed.”

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