Year after year goes by but there is no effective initiative to keep the lakes and drains active. The city’s waterlogging situation will never improve if digging canals and its filling up continue simultaneously. Over Tk 8.69 billion (Tk 869 crore) have been spent in the past 12 years in the name of reclaiming Sylhet canals. Whereas waterlogging appears even with a little rain. That means an enquiry is necessary to find out the root of the problem.
At the same time, this is problematic not only for Sylhet but for all the small and large towns across the country. This is the second spell of flood in Sylhet region. Though the first spell of floods could not cause much losses, a vast tract of Sunamganj went underwater. Farmers were compelled to harvest half-ripened crops. When people were trying to get over the losses, fresh floods inundated 13 upazilas in Sylhet and six upazilas in Sunamganj. As of writing this editorial, new areas were getting flooded.
It would take 2-3 days for the water to recede downstream even if rain stops upstream. In that case, it is hard to say when the flood affected people would get relief. Already 274 shelter centres have been opened in Sylhet. People along with their cattle have taken shelter there. The Foreign Minister accompanied by State Minister for Relief and Disaster Management visited a few shelter centres in Chalibandar area, Sylhet. People complained of shortage of relief materials. People must be provided with food, wherever they stay. It also must be ensured that no waterborne or other type of disease breaks out in the centres.
Our ministers only talk about market stability when the prices increase exorbitantly; in the same way, they recall about waterlogging when everything go under floodwater. They forget the pledges in a few days as well. Whatever be, such forgetful ministers cannot ease the sufferings of people.
Floods, drought and storms are constant companions of the people of Bangladesh. They are accustomed to adjust with those. But how would we get relief from manmade disasters?
Ever year flash flood inundates a vast tract of Bangladesh. Maybe we do not have any control over that. But we could lessen the sufferings of people by reclaiming the lakes and ponds, and ease the onslaught of floods by increasing navigability of the rivers. But it does not seem the government has that preparation.