Bangladesh Flood 2017: Water receding in most northern, central dists; relief sparse

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10:51 AM, August 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:43 PM, August 19, 2017

Flood: Water receding in most northern, central dists; Relief sparse

Situation worsens at Natore

Even though the water levels in some of the major rivers in the northern and central districts -- Teesta, Dharla and Jamuna -- continue to recede, the sufferings of the flood victims show no signs of easing.

However, floodwater submerged new areas in Natore while ongoing mid-term examinations of primary schools in all upazilas in Manikganj except for Singair have been postponed due to flood.

In Lalmonirhat, water levels of both the major rivers --Teesta and Dharla -- have been flowing well below the danger level for the past few days.

However, many have been unable to go back to their homes as most of their houses were washed away in the floods, our Lalmonirhat correspondent reports quoting sources at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

Even the government allocated relief has been sparse. Of the 1,02, 750 families affected by the floods, only 24,200 received relief so far, Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Shafiul Arif said.

In Tangail, as well, the flood situation was improving owing to the receding water levels of the Jamuna River.

The water level of the Jamuna river at Tangail point fell 17cm in the last 24 hours. At Bahadurabad point of Jamalpur district, the water of the river reduced by 26cm and at Sirajganj point the water level decreased by 19cm, our Tangail correspondent reports quoting Executive Engineer Shajahan Siraj of Water Development Board.

In the wake of the flood, the main concern of authorities is to get adequate relief among the flood-affected people.

Although relief distribution is going on in the district, there is not enough, the correspondent reports quoting chairmen of the affected union parishads.

In Natore, the overall flood situation in Singra upazila deteriorated today as the water of Atrai river was flowing 70cm above the danger mark, according to UNB.

Many flood affected people left their houses for safe shelter.

At least seven hectares of Aman paddy have already been damaged by the floodwater.

Paddy in 800 bighas of land in Temuk Nowdapara beel went under water last evening as gushing water was entering through a damaged dam in Sidhakhali river.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Junaid Ahmed Palak visited the flood-affected areas in the upazila and distributed relief materials among the victims yesterday.

In Manikganj, mid-term examination of primary schools in all upazilas except for Singair were postponed by the district primary education office from August 19 until next order, our Manikganj correspondent reports quoting Aleya Ferdousi Shikha, district primary education officer.

More than 200 schools in the affected six upazilas have been declared closed due to floods, she said.

The water of the Padma and Jamuna is flowing 72 cm above the danger zone by decreasing 4 cm at Aricha point in Manikganj in last 24 hours, said Executive engineer of Water Development Board (WDB) Hasan Mahmud.

On the other side, the water of all internal rivers of the district including Kaliganga, Dhaleshwari, Ichhamoti, Gazikhali, Kantaboti is increasing. The water of Kaliganga is flowing 82 cm above the danger zone by increasing 33 cm at Tora point in the last 24 hours, Hasan Mahmud said. 

In Dinajpur, although water levels in most of the rivers have been receding in the district, road and rail communications are yet to be restored.

As per the government estimate, around 114km roads under Roads and Highways Department (RHD) and around 1,100km roads under of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) have been damaged due to the ravaging flood, said Masum Sarwar, executive engineer of RHD.

Dhaka’s rail link with Dinajpur remains suspended over the last seven days as 15km of rail tracks, damaged by the onrush of water, are yet to be repaired, the official said.

Dhaka’s rail link with Dinajpur remains suspended over the last seven days as 15km of rail tracks, damaged by the onrush of water, are yet to be repaired. Photo: Star

Meanwhile, the agriculture has also been hit hard as around 1.26 lakh hectares of Aman land have been inundated in floodwaters with fishes of 12,000 ponds washed away, our local correspondent reports quoting district administrations sources.

In Kurigram, all rivers except the Brahmaputra are flowing below the danger mark while the Brahmaputra is now flowing 14cm above the danger mark.

District administration has so far distributed 1671.38 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 62.55 lakh among the flood victims, our Kurigram correspondent reports quoting Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Enamul Haque.

However, a number of flood victims alleged of sparse relief.

Nur Islam, 55, of Holokhana union under Sadar upazila, who has taken shelter in a primary school said, “My family has been left starving as we haven’t received any relief materials yet.”

“My children have nothing to eat. We were given only a kg of flattened rice,” said Rahena Begum, 35, in RDRS Bazar area of Holokhana union.

In Jamalpur, water levels have receded to great extent in the last two days in the district but still the Jamuna is overflowing at 72cm in Jamalpur’s Bahadurabad Ghat point.

The suffering of over 1.75 lakh flood-hit families of 583 villages in 60 unions of all seven upazilas of the district was still going on for scarcity of food.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya and State Minister for Textile and Jute Mirza Azam, MP distributed a packet of 10kg rice among 1700 affected families each in Melandah and Islampur upazilas this afternoon.

During the relief distribution, a good number of flood-hit people coming from different areas of the upazila, were seen leaving the place with broken hearts, our local correspondent reports.

When approached, 30-40 women encircled the correspondent seeking to get their names enlisted so that they could avail the opportunity of having the rice while the relief distribution was going on around 3:00pm.

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