Living in our coastal areas is becoming increasingly difficult due to effects of climate change and various natural calamities. The situation has worsened due to lack of sustainable embankment. The embankment built by volunteer works of people also doesn't sustain.
Intrusion of saline water into the cropland, scarcity of drinking water and unemployment problem are among the problems people of coastal region face. Moreover, prolonged waterlogging crisis has crippled lives of people. Chandupara village under Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila is such a village. The people of that village are still bearing the brunt of cyclone Sidr that took place around 15 years ago.
There are allegations and counter-allegations between locals and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). Several hundred villagers on Sunday held a human chain demanding reconstruction of damaged embankment.
According to Prothom Alo report, the flood control embankment near the village was damaged during Sidr. The embankment was repaired several times but none were sustainable. Embankment breaches at several points, inundating the village.
Around three thousand families were marooned as water entered into the village during monsoon. Waterlogging has damaged Aman seedbed of most of the farmers. Not only farmers, general people also suffer due to waterlogging. Communication has also been disrupted as the roads are under water. The people of the village also face an acute crisis of drinking water.
A member of local union parishad said a total of 18 points at Chandupara embankment are at risk. The locals urge the authorities build up a sustainable embankment quickly.
BWDB executive engineer in Kalapara, however, claimed that the embankment can’t be built as the local people are reluctant to give their lands for construction. Locals demand that the embankment is built at a close proximity of Rabnabad Channel. But the embankment would not be sustainable if it is built as per the wish of the locals. The money earmarked for construction of the dam has been returned due to non-cooperation of the locals.
He assured of trying to build the embankment soon taking the local people’s consent. He hopes the local administration and the people’s representatives would bury the hatchet, if there any, regarding the reconstruction of the embankment. Let all the sufferings of the village end by construction of an embankment.