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Flood control policy needed in an urgent basis

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14th-Jul-2019       
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THE incessant rainfalls for the last couple of days have caused floods in different parts of the country stranding thousands of people. Newspaper reports said floods have already struck 10 districts. Many other areas are feared to be affected over the next week which are not considered to be 'flood prone' as rivers have swelled amid rains.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of the Water Development Board in its forecast said the floods may spread to the country's central region as rains have continued along with flash floods from the upstream in India. The situation in Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Bogura, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona, Chattogram, Bandarban, Cox's Bazar and Nilphamari districts worsened on Friday while Chandpur, Sirajganj, Kurigram and Jamalpur were bracing for floods.
Meanwhile, floods have also triggered river erosion, breached dams, snapped road links, inundated crop fields and forced educational institutions shut. Apart from it, the farmed fish from ponds were washed away. Thousands of panic-stricken people took refuge on dams in some areas as schools used as shelters were submerged.  The flood affected people have been surviving on chira, muri, sugar, bread and biscuits while cooking is impossible in flooded stoves and kitchens.  FFWC officials said heavy rainfall may continue in the upstream, especially India's Assam, Meghalaya and Bihar, deteriorating the situation over the next week.
Flood is nothing uncommon in this country. Country experienced the deadliest floods in decades in 2017, when the untimely rise in water levels affected about 10 million people and damaged crops on swathes of fields in the Haor regions. But the 1988 flood was the worst in history. The two spells of floods affected around 4.5 crore people across the country including in the northern region. At least 1,470 died in 1987 while 1,621 died the following year. Around 347 sub-districts in 50 districts were affected in 1987.
The authorities concerned could never be able to take sustainable steps against flood though billions of Taka have been spent in the name of flood control in the last years. Even there is no flood defence policy till the date. As a result, Bangladesh becomes a classic example of repeated natural disasters where ordinary people are the worst sufferers.


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