The southern districts of Bangladesh have been hit by floods over the last two weeks and the situation is worsening. Heavy rains are leading to the onrush of upstream river waters to the southern districts. The water levels of Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Teesta and Dharla are on a steady rise.
The people of Kurigram are the most affected. Brahmaputra was flowing 75 centimeter above the red mark in the district until Sunday noon. Our Kurigram correspondent said that the waters of 16 other rivers flowing through the district including Teesta, Dharla and Dudhkumar are increasing. According to government estimates, 53 out of total 72 union parishads of the district have already been inundated, affecting over 250,000 people of 52,520 families. Unofficial sources estimate that at least 400,000 people have been marooned in the district. According to government estimation, as many as 1031 families have lost their homes by river bank erosion.
The authorities have opened 77 makeshift shelters in the district where 3,800 people have taken shelter so far.
Our Lalmonirhat correspondent said that 20 of district’s 45 unions have been flooded, affecting 16,850 people. So far 12 shelter centers have been opened where 850 people have taken shelter.
Some parts of Rangpur district have also been flooded. Locals apprehend that the flood situation may exacerbate in the district with the onrush of upstream water. The situation in Bogura district is also deteriorating. The water level of Jamuna rose 51 cm within 24 hours and was flowing 8cm above the red mark on Saturday noon. Shariakandi, Sonatola and Dhunat upazilas of the district have already been flooded. Farmland, homestead and schools have been flooded in those upazilas. Many remote char (shoal) areas have been inundated. Rice and jute fields have been destroyed. Many farmers are hurriedly cutting jute to avert further losses.
Bogura’s Water Development Board authorities said that the water level of Jamuna will further rise in next month.
The flood situation in northern districts is going to deteriorate further and it is likely that central and southern parts will be affected once the flood water moves downstream from the northern parts of the country. People of the haor region of Sunamganj and hill districts of Chattogram have also been affected by floods.
The relief provided by the government is far less than required. The amount of rice, dry food and money received by the victims from General Relief (GR) fund is scanty. Only Tk 675,000 has been outlaid for 52,500 flood hit people of Kurigram. Allocation for victims of Lalmonirhat is only Tk 250,000, 150 tonnes of rice and 1403 cartons of dry food.
The amount of relief should be increased and relief distribution management should be improved. Moreover, the authorities should be more organised and prepared to face the floods.