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Flood situation improves in north, worsens in central zone

Food, drinking water crises acute

 Food, drinking water crises acute
photo by NN Photo

Flood protection dam in different areas of Rajbari-Gaibandha washed away as Padma River still flowing above danger level. Thousands of people marooned due to erosion. This photo was taken on Saturday.

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20th-Aug-2017       
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Staff Reporter :
With receding water and less rainfall, the flood situation in the northern districts has started improving.
However, many people are unable to return as their homes have been destroyed by the floodwaters.
On the other hand, the situation in the central zone of the country deteriorated as many areas were being submerged by onrush of water flowing towards the Bay of Bengal on Saturday.
The flood victims, especially in remote char areas, were passing hard days for lack of relief materials.
The flood situation in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Moulvibazar, Gaibandha and Natore districts has remained unchanged.
According to our correspondents, although the overall flood situation started improving in the country's northern region, the crisis of food and drinking water has turned acute in the affected areas.
The flood-affected people in the north are in distress, as rivers eroded their homesteads, making their rehabilitation difficult.
The Ganges-Padma and Kushiyara rivers are in rising trend; while the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Surma rivers are in falling trend, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre  of Water Development Board  (WDB) said on Saturday.
The Brahmaputra-Jamuna river is likely to continue falling in the next 72 hours. The Ganges river may continue rising in the next 48 hours. The Padma river may become steady in next 24 hours on Saturday.
The Surma river may continue falling, while the Kushiyara is expected to become steady today (Sunday).
The central zone like Faridpur, Rajbari, Munshiganj and Comilla district are reeling under floodwaters that marooned lakhs of people in their villages.
In Faridpur, around 90 villages of the low-lying areas in three upazilas - Sadar, Char Bhadrasan and Sadarpur - have been flooded due to onrush of water from the upstream and incessant rainfall, leaving more than one lakh people marooned.
Besides, 15,000 families of the district were marooned as Padma, Madhumati and Arial Khan and Kumar rivers have been flowing above the danger mark, according to locals.
Goaldangi road in North Channel union and Mohammadpur road in Charmadhobdia, the only means to road connectivity of the unions, were submerged by floodwater, snapping the communication with the district headquarters.
Some 29 schools in low-lying areas of the district have remained closed as water level in the rivers has risen suddenly.
In Rajbari, around 13000 of 13 villages under Habaspur and Bahadurpur unions of Pangsha upazila have been rendered homeless as floodwaters entered their dwellings.
In Dhaka, around 10,000 people of Dohar upazila of the district were marooned as Padma river has been flowing above the danger mark, according to locals.
The strong current coupled with rising water level continued disrupting ferry services on two major routes of the River Padma on Saturday, causing miseries to passengers and truckers.
Thousands of passengers to and from the south and south-western districts faced difficulty since Friday to cross the Paturia-Daulatdia and the Shimulia-Kathalbari river routes.
Hundreds of vehicles, mostly bus and goods-laden trucks, remained stuck behind the respective pontoons for hours, creating tailbacks stretching over a few kilometres on Saturday.
An official of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation said ferries were in operation on the Paturia-Daulatdia route, but due to increased water on the Padma-Jamuna river, the ferries were taking long time to cross the river.
In Comilla, at least 11 villages of Monohorgonj upazila went under water affecting around 1.5 lakh people.    
 In Gaibandha, overall flood situation in Gobindaganj and Palashbari upazilas deteriorated inundating fresh areas in the last 24 hours till Saturday morning around as the Karatoa river swelled during the period.
WDB officials said the water level in the Karatoa rose by 7 cm during the period and it was flowing 76 cm above its danger level at Katakhali Bridge point of the district.
With the rise of water level in the Karatoa, 12 unions and Gobindaganj municipality of Gobindaganj upazila were flooded and 29,000 families marooned and many of them had taken shelter on the nearby embankment, said M. Zahirul Islam, upazila project implementation officer (PIO).
Five unions including Kishorgari and Hossainpur of Palashbari upazilas were also submerged affecting 17,000 families who are passing their days and nights miserably, said M. Shahinur Alam, PIO of the upazila.
A portion of Karatoa Flood Control Embankment at Cherenga area of Darbasta union of Gobindaganj upazila had been washed away by the pressure of the river water resulting in inundation of fresh areas in the union, said executive engineer of WDB M. Mahbubur Rahman.
The crops, partially T-Aman paddy, on 13,860 hectares of land have been washed away by the flood. Aman seed bed and summer vegetables of the upazilas went under flood water, said deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension AKM Ruhul Amin.
As many as 118 government primary schools of the upazilas had been closed said M. Aminul Islam Mondal, district primary education officer.
District relief and rehabilitation officer AKM Idris Ali said 228 tonnes of rice and dry food worth Tk 5.80 lakh have so far been distributed among the flood victims of the upazilas.
In Natore, the overall flood situation in Singra upazila deteriorated on Saturday as the water of Atrai river was flowing 70cm above the danger mark.
The floodwater submerged new areas in the upazila. Many flood-affected people left their houses for safe shelter.
Aman paddy on at least seven hectares of land have already been damaged by the floodwater.
Paddy on 800 bighas of land in Temuk Nowdapara beel went under water on Friday evening as gushing water was entering through a damaged dam in Sidhakhali river.
In Lalmonirhat, the flood-affected people who left their houses started returning home at many places as the flood water is receding.
However, the flood victims in the Teesta and Dharla chars were passing their days in great misery for lack of food, drinking water and shelter.
Locals were trying to repair the damaged dam with sacks of soil.
They feared that the low-lying areas might be inundated in tide coupled with a rise in the water level of the rivers.
In Rajshahi, the devastating flood has washed away the fishes worth around Tk 1.25 crore from 350 commercial fish farming ponds in the district.
"The loss caused by the deluge in Tanore, Mohanpur and Bagmara is worst," said Subhash Chandra Saha, District Fisheries Officer told journalists on Saturday.
Around 53.25 tonnes of fishes worth about Tk 1.17 crore in 320 ponds in Bagmara, Mohanpur and Puthiya upazilas were washed away by the floodwater. Besides, 1.12 tonnes of fish fingerlings worth around Tk 11 lakh were affected badly, he added.
Shubhash Saha said 208 commercial hatcheries of 156 fish farmers were totally inundated, washing out 22 tonness of fishes and 70 tonnes of fingerlings in Bagmara Upazila.
He said the floodwater engulfed the three upazilas when an embankment of the Shiba River collapsed at Bhimnagar area under Mohanpur Upazila on August 13.
Meanwhile, standing crops on around 6,132 hectares of land were inundated by the floodwater in four upazilas of the district, said Deb Dulal Dhali, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
He said the extent of loss will rise if the situation prolongs. On the other hand, around 2,000 flood-affected people of four villages in Sonadanga Union under Bagmara Upazila received relief materials yesterday.

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