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The Financial Express

Fourth spell of flood in northern region affects Aman, early winter crops

| Updated: September 20, 2020 10:06:18


Fourth spell of flood in northern region affects Aman, early winter crops

Several districts in the northern region witnessed fresh floods in the last few days amid heavy rain and the onrush of upstream water.

It is the fourth spell of flooding in the region since June 26. The flood is severely affecting Aman and the farming of early winter crops in the districts, insiders said. 

Many areas in the 12 districts under Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions were inundated in the last four days as Dharala, Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Gur rivers started flowing over their respective danger marks again.

The Teesta River continued to swell in Nilphamari, Rangpur and Lalmonirhat, and so did the Brahmaputra in Kurigram.

The rivers were expected to cross their respective danger mark within the next 24 to 48 hours amid rain and onrush of upstream water, said the Flood Forecasting and Warning (FFWC).

FFWC on Saturday morning forecasted that the water level of Teesta, Brahmaputra and Jamuna might continue to swell for the next two days, which may deteriorate the flood conditions further in the region.

Water in the Padma basin may also rise during the period, but it may remain static in the Upper Meghna, It said.

Dharala, Jamuna and Gur in Kurigram, Bogura, Sirajganj and Natore districts were flowing 7.0 cm to 15 cm above their respective danger mark on Saturday noon, FFWC added.

However, the Betna Riverat Kalaroa in Satkhira was also flowing over its danger level on the day.

FFWC said water was on a rising trend at 53 points out of 101 on Saturday.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), however, forecasted that Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh and Dhaka regions might remain almost dry in next 24 hours starting from Saturday morning.

Rain might occur in the three coastal divisions and Sylhet during the period.

However, Dinajpur witnessed 69 mm and Naogaon 60 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

The Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) said more than 0.12 million hectares of land have been inundated since Wednesday morning in 12 districts under Rangpur and Rajshahi divisions.

It said the floods hit for the fourth time in the region since June 26 last.

However, ongoing floods have been causing immense sufferings to the farmers who were attempting to plant Aman seedlings for the third time in parts of Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Bogura, Sirajganj, Natore and Naogaon districts.

Onion and early winter vegetable growers in some districts are also in peril amid the sudden flood, sources said.

However, the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) was yet to prepare the loss and damages caused by this fourth spell of flooding.

 The agriculture ministry so far recorded a total of 0.258 million hectares of land have been damaged by the three spells of flood between June 26 and August 31 in 37 districts.

Some 1.4 million farmers incurred losses worth over Tk 15 billion during the period.

Economist Prof Golam Hafeez Kennedy termed the northern region’s recent flooding ‘final nail to the farmers' coffin’.

If the water doesn't recede within two or three days, most of the Aman crops in the flood-hit northern districts might be damaged, he said, adding it is peak time for early winter veggie, potato and onion growers.

Production of such produce might be impacted by the flood which could raise their prices further in the kitchen markets, he said.

However, rice prices already witnessed 10-22 per cent, vegetable 70-100 per cent, potato 33-34 per cent and onion 100-167 per cent hike within in a month in the country, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) and Department of Agricultural Marketing.

tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com

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