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  • Flood-hit people face drinking water crisis in Bangladesh

    Flood-hit people face drinking water crisis in Bangladesh

    The need for drinking water and food is growing in the country’s north and northeast where flood has forced thousands to move to embankments and roads.

    Heavy rain over the last few days has caused the Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, and the Dudhkumar to flow above their danger levels at several places.

    With partial collapse of embankments, water rushed into low-lying areas and vast chars and devoured houses, schools and other structures. A huge area of cropland has gone under water in the flood-hit regions.

    Many more areas of Rangpur, Rajshahi and Sylhet divisions are now under threat as the flood situation worsens.

    Those marooned and living on embankments and roads alleged that they were facing shortage of food and drinking water but the authorities have not yet come up with relief materials.

    “Most poor people of the flood-hit areas are facing acute crisis of food and drinking water. They are gathering and waiting for relief every day, but no organisation has come up to help yet,” said Abdul Gafur, Jattrapur UP chairman, in Kurigram.

    Around 40,000 people of 42 unions in Kurigram have been marooned by the Brahmaputra, Dudhkumar, Dharla, Teesta and the Gangadhar rivers overflowing.

     The plying of heavy vehicles via Bhurungamari-Sonahat Land Port Road has been suspended as about 50 metres of the road was eroded by the Dudhkumar river yesterday.

    In Gaibandha, the Brahmaputra was flowing 21cm above the danger mark at Fulchari yesterday, flooding fresh areas.

    Over 25,000 people have been marooned in char areas of Gaibandha, while many are living with cattle and poultry on embankments and roads.

    Cracks have developed in the Singria Flood Control Dyke at three places prompting the Water Development Board (WDB) to sandbag the embankment.

    Many of the 10,000 people living on embankments in Shariakandi and Dhunat upazilas of Bogra said they were in dire need of relief materials.

    The Jamuna was flowing 14cm above the danger level at Shariakandi and the partial collapse of a flood control embankment on Friday aggravated the flood situation.

    Around 400 families in four unions of Bhuapur upazila in Tangail lost their homes to the mighty Jamuna.

    The Bhuapur-Tarakandi Road, which also serves as an embankment, schools, police outposts, mosques, temples, and poultry farms were under threat of being devoured, locals said.

    Meanwhile, around 220 metre area of Sirajganj Flood Protection Embankment at Sirajganj was eroded yesterday. Some 400 houses and a huge area of cropland were damaged in Chowhali upazila in Sirajganj.

    The river devoured parts of six schools in Chowhali.

    Kamrul Islam of Chowbarisa in Chowhali claimed that WDB was negligent in protecting the embankment, which made hundreds homeless.

    Some 7,000 families in five upazilas of Sunamganj were under threat of inundation as the water of the Surma, Cholti, Patli and the Jadukata rivers were likely to go over the danger level in the next two days, WDB officials said.

    Even though the people now homeless moved to nearby flood protection embankments, roads and other places, they were passing days in misery under the open sky. They need drinking water and food, locals said.

    Firoj Khan, deputy-assistant agriculture officer in Sunamganj, said, “Many farmers are being forced to sell off their domestic animals at throw away prices as they try to deal with the miserable situation.”

    Our district correspondents contributed to this report.

    Published by the Daily Star

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