In Netrokona, the farmers of haor areas in Khaliajury upazila are busy harvesting their green and half-ripen paddy, fearing losses caused by onrush of water downstream.
Executive Engineer of Netrokona Water Development Board, ML Saikat said, “The water level at Dhanu river has risen 10cm on Monday noon due to rainfall in India’s Cherrapunji. As a result, the Dhanu river was flowing 58cm below the danger level.”
Jashimuddin, upazila agriculture officer, said 370 acres of land in Kirtankhola, Lakshmipur, Chunai, Baiddarchar, Katkailer Kanda, Taktar, Monijan, Lebria, Hemnagar, Gangabadar, Nayakhal, Bagani, Boilong and Dakatkhali haor areas has been inundated, creating panic among the upazila’s boro farmers.
Many farmers are trying their best to harvest their boro paddy before it is ripen, in order to cut down on their losses.
Sujon Mia and Anwar Hossain, two farmers of Puranhati and Lakshmipur villages in the upazila, said normally they would give it another 10-15 days to harvest the paddy, but they became helpless and went for early harvest – in which case their immature paddy would be used as fodder.
Engineer Saikat said there is no report of damage along the 183-km embankment in the haor area, and they are trying to reinforce it by dumping bamboo and sand-filled GO bags.
In Sunamganj, the residents of Shantiganj upazila have been spending sleepless nights to protect the Shaldia Haor flood protection embankment since a crack was discovered on its surface.
The water level of Surma river has touched the danger level, and the water level of all the rivers including the Jadukata, Rokti, Boulai, Patlai, Naljur, Kalni, Chalti, Dharain and Chela, has increased due to the sudden onrush of hill water.
The crop lands in Tahirpur upazila in the district are the worst-affected, as the flood control embankment for the Tanguar haor collapsed.
Crop fields in Choto Kalarn haor in Sadar upazila and Manuarkhola haor in Shalla upazila are also submerged.
On the other hand, some 25,000 hectares of boro paddy are at risk of inundation as a crack developed on the protection embankment at Karchar haor in Bishwambarpur upazila on Tuesday morning.
Bishwambarpur Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sadi-Ur-Rahim Zahid said they are trying their best to protect the crops.
Sunamganj Deputy Commissioner Jahangir Hossain said this year, a 530-km long levee has been built, and it is difficult for the Water Development Board to protect such a long embankment. As such, he sought help from all stakeholders in taking steps to protect the embankment.
According to Sunamganj office of the Department of Agriculture Extension, some 222,805 hectares of land have been brought under boro cultivation in the district and they set a target to produce boro paddy worth Tk 3,200 crore (32 billion).
In Sylhet, farmers in Companiganj upazila are a worried lot, as their paddy fields too lie submerged, following the sudden onrush of upstream waters in the last two days.
Some 400 bighas of cropland are already under water in Companiganj, according to the upazila agriculture department. The worst hit areas are Fuksha haor, Bhai Kuri, Moter Kuri, Dewar Kar, Kapna Kuri, Daila haor, Akhai Kuri, Kanglaghati and Daram haor of the upazila’s South Ranikhai Union.
Deputy assistant agriculture officer Pankaj said that although only 50 bighas of paddy land in Ichakals union is under water, the Patharchauli haor protection dam is likely to be breached at any moment. “A disaster is waiting to happen at any moment,” he told UNB.
Alamgir Alam, chairman of East Islampur union parishad, said that with the help of locals, a dam was built in Rauti haor. However, the dam was breached due to strong currents, submerging paddy fields, Alamgir added.
Raihan Parvez Rony, upazila agriculture officer, said, if the flow of hill water continues, all the boro crops in the upazila will be damaged.
Boro has been cultivated across 5,850 hectares of land in the upazila this year, said the officer.
Fakhrul Ahmed, deputy assistant engineer of the Sylhet Water Development Board, said that an 8.561 km-long crop protection dam has been constructed in the haor area in Companiganj.
“Although the dam is strong enough, it will be difficult to protect the area’s crops in case of an overflow,” he added.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Lusikanta Hajong said the low-lying areas were flooded by the sudden onrush of hill water. Our crop protection dams are still safe. A list of affected farmers is being prepared, he added.