People collect water from an inundated tube well
People collect water from an inundated tube wellBSS

Flood situation has been improving in the region for the last couple of days as water recession continues in many rivers in the Ganges basin for the fifth consecutive day today.

Of the total 30 river points, being monitored in Ganges basin regularly, water levels decreased at 21 stations, while increased at seven points and remained stable at two points at 9:00am today, creating a furthermore hope of reducing the plight of the flood-affected people in the char (shoal) and other low-lying areas.

The rivers were flowing below the danger level at 23 points, while above danger mark at six points this morning.

Local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has recorded a continuous falling trend of water at the points of Pankha, Rajshahi, Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria in the past 24 hours ending 9:00am today, Mukhlesur Rahman, superintending engineer of BWDB, told BSS.

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Water levels of the Ganges river further decreased by two centimeter (CM) at Pankha in Chapainawabganj, one cm at Rajshahi, four cm each at Hardinge bridge and Talbaria points while the water level in the Padma River remained stable at Goalunda point.

The Ganges river was flowing 175 cm, 175 cm, 97 cm and 77 cm below the danger level at Pankha, Rajshahi, Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria points respectively while the Padma river was flowing 80 cm above the danger mark at Goalanda point, he added.

On the other hand, the water level of the Karotoya river and the Jamuna river under the Brahmaputra basin which flow through Bogura and Sirajganj were seen a rising trend again this morning, forecasting deterioration in the flood situation in the two districts.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), said the water level in the Karotoya river increased by 24 cm at Chak Rahimpur and nine cm at Bogura point. The river was flowing two cm and 159 cm below the danger mark at the two stations respectively this morning.

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The Jamuna river went up by two cm at Kajipur in Sirajganj and one cm at Sirajganj points, while decreased by one cm at Sariakandi in Bogura and the river was flowing 60 cm, 34 cm and 39 cm above the danger mark at Sariakandi, Kazipur and Sirajganj points respectively.

He also said the water level in the Gur river increased by one cm at Shingra point in Natore and the river was flowing 77 cm above the danger mark.

The Atrai river was flowing 76 cm above the danger level at Baghabari point in Sirajganj with a five cm fall afresh this morning.

Water level in the Mohananda river went up by nine cm at Rohanpur in Chapainawabganj and the river was flowing 91 cm below the danger mark.

The Atrai river was flowing five cm above the danger mark at Atrai point in Naogaon with a 25 cm rise afresh while 221 cm below the danger mark with 20 cm fall at Mohadevpur point in Naogaon.

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Of the 16 river points both in Ganges and Brahmaputra basins, monitored in almost all eight districts under Rajshahi division, water levels decreased at eight points, went up at five points and remained stable at three points.

The rivers were flowing below the danger level at 10 points, while above danger mark at six points this morning.

Meanwhile, the local civil administration has, so far, recorded that around seven lakh people were affected by flood and standing crops on 27,773 hectares of land were submerged in Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Sirajgonj and Bogura .

Moinul Islam, additional divisional commissioner of Rajshahi, said the district and upazila administrations with the local public representatives have further intensified relief activities in the worst-affected areas.

Taka 2.426 million in cash, 1,235.68 metric tons of rice, 597,000 packets of dry-food and Taka 600,000 for baby food are being distributed among the marooned people in the worst-hit areas at present.

Besides, Taka 600,000 for cattle feed is also being distributed in Sirajganj, Bogura and Naogaon.

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He said the government has also allocated more 1,524.32 tonnes of rice, Taka 3.128 million in cash, Taka 600,000 for baby food, 213,000 packets of dry foods and Taka 1.1 million for cattle feed for distribution among the affected people in all the eight districts in the division.

If necessary, there are also additional relief materials of 1,500 tonnes of rice, Taka 4 million in cash, 17,000 packets of dry food, Taka 1.5 million for baby food, Taka 1.5 million for cattle-feed for Sirajgonj, Pabna, Bogura and Natore, Mainul Islam added.

He also said the district administrations and BWDB are closely monitoring the situation and taking instant steps when and where necessary during the deluge in Rajshahi division.

The health department has undertaken all possible measures to prevent any outbreak of water-borne diseases among the marooned people in the flood-affected areas amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Divisional director of health Gopendra Nath Acharya told BSS that 658 medical teams are working in 101 flood affected unions under 18 upazilas in the division. Besides, 18 flood shelters were opened in Bogura.

He added that 50 unions in Sirajganj, 19 in Pabna, 17 in Bogura, 10 in Naogaon and five in Natore are the worst affected ones.

He said they have recorded 1,893 patients suffering from various other flood-related diseases, including 60 diarrheal and nine respiratory tract infections since 1 July.