Flash floods damage crops worth Tk 1b in Sunamganj haors


Flash floods triggered by onrush of water from the upstream inundated Boro crops on 5,000 hectares of land in 14 haors in Sunamganj, causing loss of Tk 100 crore, according to local agricultural office.

Meanwhile, local farmers claimed some 20,000 hectares of land have been inundated until Friday evening.

According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), farmers yield six MTs of paddy per hectare of land.

As per the DAE estimate, 1.20 lakh MTs of paddy worth Tk 300 crore could have been produced from the land that went under water.

Haor is a wetland ecosystem in the north eastern part of Bangladesh which physically is a bowl or saucer shaped shallow depression, also known as a back swamp. During monsoon haors get filled with surface runoff water becoming vast stretches of turbulent water.

According to local DAE office, Boro paddy has been cultivated on 2.22 lakh hectares of land in the district this year and the production target has been set at 13.50 lakh MTs.

In a recent visit, the UNB correspondent found local people working day and night voluntarily to protect the local embankments. Rain has reduced in haor area but water level in rivers is rising in some upazilas including Dirai-Shalla of Sunamganj.

On 2 April, crops of Tanguar haor went under water at first after the Najarkhali embankment collapsed.

Since then eight dams collapsed one by one and cracks have developed in all small and big embankments due to the pressure of upstream water.

On Friday, water started flooding Eraliakona Haor in Tahirpur.

Locals said five haors including Chandra Sonartal Haor in Dharmapasha, Tangni Haor in Dirai Upazila and Chapati Haor went under water after the collapse of the embankments.

Bimal Chandra Som, Deputy Director of Sunamganj DAE said, water is entering the haors through broken embankment and overflowing in some places.

“The showers have reduced in the last two days. If no more rain occurs there will be no major damage,” he assured.