Friday, July 19, 2019 | ePaper

Ten districts brace for floods

Jamuna, Teesta and Dharla turn turbulent amid heavy downpour: 25,000 families marooned in Lalmonirhat, Shibalaya in Manikganj: Hundreds of houses, croplands washed away: 30 schools shut

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Thousands of families rendered homeless as Teesta, Dharla rivers flowing above danger level in Lalmonirhat (top) Gangachar of Kurigram (left bottom) and Sunamganj (right bottom) triggered by monsoon. This photo was taken on Friday.

Staff Reporter :
Rivers in 10 districts of the country flowing above the danger level due to heavy downpour for a few days.
The situation has deteriorated over the last 24 hours in the Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Chattogram, Bandarban, Cox's Bazar and Nilphamari districts, due to heavy rains.
The Jamuna is likely to rise further due to the swelling of the Brahmaputra in India. At the same time, the increase in the Ganga in Bihar could also result in floods in the Padma basin.
Over 1200 houses and other establishments went into the gorge of the Jamuna River in the last two weeks as erosion by the mighty river has taken a serious turn in Shibalaya and Daulatpur upazilas due to the onrush of water from the upstream.
Fifty dwelling houses in Shibalaya upazila, over 200 houses, including a mosque, a madrasha and a school, in four unions of Daultpur upazilas have already been washed away by the river.
Many more houses, croplands and 15 primary schools in Daulatpur upazila now stand threatened by the riverbank erosion. Hundreds of families who have lost their homes have taken shelter at different places.
Officials at the Local Water Development Board said they are dumping sand bags in erosion-hit Charkatari and Bacamar areas on an emergency basis to check the erosion.
Besides, the district administration has distributed rice and corrugated iron-sheets amid erosion-affected families. Local public representatives said erosion causes havoc on the areas during monsoon each year in absence of any permanent solution to the problem.
Saidur Rahman, an assistant education officer in Daulatpur upazila, said every year many schools are washed away by the river during monsoon.
"This year, two schools have been engulfed by erosion, hampering the academic activities of over 200 students who are now attending classes under the open sky," he said.
Belayet Hossain, chairman of Gionpur Union Parishad in Daulatpur upazila, stressed taking long-term measures to prevent erosion by the river. Abdul Barek, chairman of Charkatari union parishad, said Kathaltoli village at this union went into the gorge of the river, rendering over a hundred of families homeless.
"There'll be no existence of the union if long-term measures are not taken to prevent the erosion." Daulatpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sabrina Sharmin said they are preparing a list of the affected people to give them government assistance.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of the district SM Ferdous visited the affected areas and told journalist they have already distributed 30 kgs of rice to each of the affected 200families, and instructed the Water Development Board (WDB) officials to take steps to control erosion.
WDB sub-divisional engineer of Manikganj WDB Mamun Hawlader said 6,000 sand bags have been dumped over 120-metere areas in Jionpur and Bachamara unions of Daulatpur on an emergency basis. Besides, he said, a proposal has been sent to the ministry concerned for a permanent solution to the problem.
The Teesta and Dharla rivers are flowing above the danger level, marooning over 25,000 families in Lalmonirhat, while hundreds of establishments face the risk of being swallowed by the Meghna.
Our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports that around Thursday noon, the Teesta was flowing 8cm above the danger level Doani point while Dharla has been flowing 7cm above the danger level at Kulaghat point.
Rabiul Islam, Executive Engineer of Dalia point of the barrage, said all sluice gates have been opened. Excessive flow of water has led to the inundation of low land and char areas in Lalmonirhat, he said.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Ali Hayder said at least 950 packets of dry food, 150 metric tonnes of rice and Tk2.5 lakh will be distributed among the affected people after getting a list from the upazilas.
At least 12,000 families in Dohogram union of Patgram upazila, Goddimari, Saniazan, Sindurna, Patikapara, Singimari in Hatibandha upazila, Mohishkhocha in Aditmari upazila, Khuniagach, Rajpur, Gokunda, Kulaghat and Mogolhat union in Sadar upazila have been stranded, he added.
Locals said heavy rain in the last five days disconnected the area from the district town. The Children, elderly and handicap people have been facing crisis mostly due to unavailability of drinking water. Manik Mia of Mohishkhocha union under Aditmari upazila said they did not receive any relief yet from anyone.
Kazi Shafikul Islam, headmaster of Gobordhan Char Government Primary School, said students stopped coming to school for three days as their classrooms have been flooded. To add to the woes, the flood control dam at Talebmore area at Hatibandha upazila may collapse anytime.
Our Chandpur correspondent reports that residents of Amtoli area in Haimchar upazila are passing days amid worries due to the intensified Meghna River erosion. Ahmed Ali Master, chairman of Charbhairabo Union Parishad, said the erosion by Meghna took a serious turn during the last couple of days following the rise in water level.
Haimchar River Protection Dam, many business establishments and a local mosque may go into the river anytime, he said.
On information, executive engineer of Chandpur Water Development Board, Abu Raihan, UNO Ferdousi Begum and Haimchar Upazila Chairman Nur Hossain Patwari visited the site on Wednesday.
Raihan said GO bags will be dumped on the riverbanks and a proposal will be sent to the higher authorities to build a permanent dam.
UNB's Sherpur correspondent reports that constant rain and heavy flow of water from the upstream have worsened the flood situation. Parts of Jhenigati Sadar and over 25 villages of Dhanshail, Kangsha, Hatibandha and Malijhikanda unions were inundated.
Jhenigati UNO Rubel Mahmud said at least 10,000 people of five unions have been affected. The situation will improve when the rain stops, he added.

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