Fulbari flood victims lament losses

Dhaka,  Mon,  25 September 2017
Published : 19 Aug 2017, 00:13:42

Fulbari flood victims lament losses

Fodder crisis hits Dinajpur
Almost entire Fulbari Upazila of Kurigram has suffered damages in flooding, report agencies.

As river banks eroded and floodwaters broke through the embankments, people scrambled to save their homes and belongings. Stories of losses now fill the air of the villages in Fulbari.

Abu Hossain, 60, said he was resting in his home at Chargorok Mondol village on Saturday afternoon when he heard a loud noise.

"I was feeling sleepy lying on my bed when I heard people screaming outside. I ran to the road beside the embankment and saw a deluge headed our way.

"I went back home. Then I heard that horrible noise. The torrent was tearing down trees and soon there was water everywhere. I saw the village mosque and my neighbour Abul Hossain's home disappear into the water."

A stream of the Dharala river had torn down the embankment at Gorokmondol.       

"I managed to move my family to safety. But we couldn't save anything. The household I built for 40 years is gone. It's gone away with water and mud," the man said as he cried uncontrollably.

The others had similar stories. They had witnessed floods that submerged their village and crops, but losing entire homes was something new altogether.

Aid did not come often, and when it did, the food provided is not enough to last more than a day, the people complained. Some tried to dry their rice grains whenever the sun peered through the clouds.                

"We are poor people. We won't get help even if we die. The union's chairman and members don't look after us," said an elderly 'Sofur'.

"I was given 10 kilograms of rice to distribute to 40 flood victims. But who will I give this to? There are hundreds of people here! I am in trouble," said Khoimuddin, a union council member at Barabhita.

At least 8,000 families in Barabhita union have suffered damages in the flood, said chairman Khaibar Ali.

"I have ten tonnes of rice. This is way below what is needed."  

 Fulbari Upazila Executive Officer Debendranath Urao said the floodwaters are starting to recede and people are returning to their homes.

"The Upazila administration has been running a kitchen for distributing Khichuri among flood victims. We will continue to provide them the food until situation returns to normal."

In Dinajpur thousands of farm animals were facing a fodder crunch.

The crisis unfolded due to floodwaters submerging large swathes of grassy fields and around one-and-a -half tonnes of straw, said Abul Kalam Azad, district livestock official, on Friday.

Almost 600,000 animals were suffering from the crisis. The numbers include 372,000 cows, over 200,000 goats, 11,000 sheep and hundreds of buffaloes.

An urgent supply of 10,000 tonnes of fodder has been released by the government, which is expected to reach the district in the coming couple of days, said Azad.

"Water level in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna was receding by 20 to 25 cm on an average at most places, meaning the river system would be normal within the next four or five days," Executive Engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) Md Sazzad Hossain said.

"Although the Padma at Goalundo point is flowing above the danger mark by 106 cm, it will be flowing at the normal level within the next few days," he said.

 The overall flood situation may improve significantly in the country as the trend of less rainfall is seen in Bangladesh and upstream regions of India, Sazzad added.

Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said relief operations would be continued until floodwater recedes.

"We have sent adequate relief materials to the flood-affected districts of the northern region to mitigate sufferings of the affected people," he said while distributing relief materials among the flood-hit people on the premises of Shilpakala Academy in Thakurgaon.

In Rangpur, the flood situation improved further until 9:00 am on Friday with continuous fall in water levels of the major rivers in the northern districts on the Brahmaputra basin.

"The situation is getting normal gradually in Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur and Rangpur districts where most of the displaced people returned home while the situation is continuously improving in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts now," said Divisional Commissioner Kazi Hasan Ahmed.

In Natore's in Singra upazila Aman plants on around 1900 hectares of land have been washed away by flood water as the Atrai River has burst its bank.

The Atrai was flowing 55 centimeters above its danger mark until Friday morning, leaving houses and crop lands in vast areas in its vicinity flooded, said Sudangshu Kumar Sarker, Executive Engineer of Water Development Board, Natore.

"The farmers of the area brace for huge losses of crops due to the flood fury," said Sajjad Hossian, Singra Upazila Agriculture officer.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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