DHAKA, Bangladesh (The Daily Star/ANN) – As the flood situation in northern Bangladesh districts worsens, residents now face an acute food and drinking water crisis
The flood situation in four northern districts – Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha and Jamalpur – worsened and the people of these districts are now facing an acute crisis of food and drinking water.
Their houses and croplands have gone under floodwater.
“We could not feed our children. Oftentimes, we go to dry land with boats in search of food,” said Nur Jahan Begum of Gobordhan village in Aditmari upazila (subdistricts) of Lalmonirhat.
“We are eating only dry food like bread, flattened rice, puffed rice and molasses. Sometime we get cooked food from relatives in the flood free area,” said Nabirul Islam at Char Kharuya village in Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila.
Many villagers are selling off their domestic animals at lower prices as there is an acute crisis of fodder in the flood-hit areas. All the grasslands around the villages have been damaged by flood.
“The grazing field went under water. We are selling our domestic animals at a lower price as we are unable to provide them with fodder,” said Rafiqul Islam of Lalmonirhat.
The Dharla river was flowing above 28 centimetres of the danger mark at Kulaghat point. The Brahmaputra, Jamuna, and Bangalee also were flowing above the danger mark yesterday.
Local administrations and social organisations are distributing dry foods among the flood victims.
Shibendu Khastagir, executive engineer of Water Development Board (WDB), Lalmonirhat, said the overall flood situation remained unchanged yesterday. The situation would improve if there were no rain and onrush of water from upstream across the border in the next 24 hours.
Flood situation in Jamalpur, Kurigram and Bogra worsened as the water level of the Jamuna, Brahmaputra and Bangalee rivers increased due to upstream water and heavy rainfall.
Jamalpur District Primary Education Officer Abdul Alim said they had closed 109 primary schools in the district due to flood.
Crops on at least 10,000 hectares of land in Bogra have been damaged in flood, sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said.
Bogra Deputy Commissioner Ashraf Uddin said they were trying their best to help the flood-affected people.
At least 50,000 people of 25 villages in 15 unions of Kurigram have been newly affected by flood as the Brahmaputra and Dharla are flowing above the danger mark.
Shawkat Ali Sarkar, deputy director of Kurigram DAE, said around 250,000 farmers might incur huge losses as over 58,000 hectares of cropland had been damaged.
According to WDB in Gaibandha, new areas of seven upazilas in the district had gone under floodwater pushing about 200,000 people to danger.