The Financial Express

Marooned people of Bagha yet to get relief

An erosion-affected village under Bagha upazila in Rajshahi district    	— FE Photo An erosion-affected village under Bagha upazila in Rajshahi district — FE Photo

RAJSHAHI, Sept 30: Nearly 1,800 families of 15 char villages under Bagha upazila remained marooned for the last one week. Till Saturday afternoon, no relief materials have been distributed among the stranded families.

Meanwhile, more than 150 families of the villages have become homeless due to river erosion.

Local sources said 23 families live in in Diarkadirpur char village. They have been living in this condition for over a week. The same situation has been prevailing for residents of 24 more char villages of the upazila. 

They have no way to come out of their villages without boats. As a result, they are failing to go from one house to another and to take their domestic animals for grazing. 

To ease communication from one house to another, some of the affected villagers have made boats by bending CI sheet which cannot carry more than one passenger.

These CI-sheet boats are the only means of transport for the villagers. The nearby market is far away from the villages and the villagers have to visit to the bazaar with those boats by risking their lives.

It is learnt, the main source of income of these char people is from agriculture. But, now all the fields are submerged. They do not have any work now.

Some were trying to earn their livelihood through fishing in the river but due to water of the river being full to the brim, no sufficient fish could be caught.

According to sources, nearly 3,600 families consisting of nearly 20,000 people live in 15 char villages of the upazila. Of those 23 families consisting of more than 50 people live in Diarkadirpur char village.

 Most of those families live on the land of others by taking those as lease.  It takes Tk 5,500 to Tk 6,000 for taking a bigha (20 katha) of land for a year.

Jalal Uddin, Member of No-1 ward lives in Chalk Rajapur union. He said he was forced to live with family members in an awkward situation since flood water entered his house.

Jalal Uddin further mentioned, he was elected member in 2016 but this year got no government assistance. The ward consists of the villages Diar Kadirpur, Tiktiki para, Char Rajapur and parts of Kalidaskhali inhibited by more than 300 families with 1,035 voters.

Most of the crop lands and houses of those char villages have been inundated by floodwater.  The Purba Chalkrajapur Government School has been shifted to other places due to erosion. Luxminagar Government High School and Char Kalidaskhali Government High School are on the threat of being eroded.

Sabirul Islam of the same village informed, he along with his wife and two children were living by building two rooms on the land by taking a lease from others.  Now water entered his house. He was at risk with his family and two cows and two goats.

His wife Salma Begum informed, there was no rice at home and her husband has no work in the field because all fields have been inundated. The food of the family is somehow being managed by catching fish and selling those in the local market.

Anowar Hossain, member of ward-6 of Kalidaskhlai char village, said nearly 10 bighas of his land including mango orchards of three bighas have been eroded in the river Padma.

He said houses and croplands of most of 800 voters (465 families) under his ward are affected by the flood. They were now leading a miserable life by being trapped in floodwater.

Azizul Azam, Chairman of Chalkrajapur union informed, there are 3,600 families in char village of the river Padma out of those flood water has entered in 50 per cent of villages. Now they are trapped in water.

Most of the crops of the char land have been inundated and damaged. More than 150 families of the char villages have become homeless as their houses were devoured in the floodwater. Many of those homeless people were spending inhuman life under the open sky.

Shahin Reza, UNO of Bagha upazila, said he has visited flood-affected areas of char villages in the river Padma on Thursday and sent the requisition for relief to the Deputy Commissioner of Rajshahi. The flood-affected people will be supplied with relief goods as soon as those are available, he said.


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