• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Farmers flood-hit

Crops on one lakh hectares of land damaged as more areas go under water

Star Report
A man and some kids row a boat and a raft in flood-hit Sindurna village under Hatibandha of Lalmonirhat. Photo: Star
A man and some kids row a boat and a raft in flood-hit Sindurna village under Hatibandha of Lalmonirhat. Photo: Star

Floods have damaged aman paddy and other crops on more than one lakh hectares of land in seven northern districts, much to the despair of thousands of farmers.

Mahim Uddin, a farmer at Sindurna village in Lalmonirhat, said he planted aman on six bighas of land, and the entire cropland was submerged by floodwater from the Teesta.

“I don't have any extra aman seedlings”. He doubted whether he would be able to plant seedlings once floodwater recedes.

Crops on around 24,000 hectares of land in Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha and Rangpur were damaged in the flooding that started more than a week ago, said Kamal Kumar Sarker, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangpur.

Apart from this, crops on 24,000 hectares of land in Jamalpur and 54,000 hectares in Sirajganj were damaged, said district officials.

Safayet Hossain, deputy director of the DAE in Lalmonirhat, said they were assessing the losses and preparing a list of the affected farmers. Once the list is completed, they would send it to the agriculture ministry for deciding on compensations.

People stand on what is left of the dyke in Boirati village under Kaliganj upazila in the district. Boirati and two other villages got flooded as part of the dyke was washed away by the Teesta river yesterday afternoon. Photo: Star
People stand on what is left of the dyke in Boirati village under Kaliganj upazila in the district. Boirati and two other villages got flooded as part of the dyke was washed away by the Teesta river yesterday afternoon. Photo: Star

Additional Secretary of Agriculture Ministry Anwar Faruque said the ministry would hold a meeting today to discuss the matter and decide on the next course of action.

Meanwhile, flood situation in the northern part was improving though water was flowing above danger mark at many points of the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Teesta and Dharla rivers, according to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

In the central parts of the country, water levels were on the rise in major rivers, including the Padma, lower parts of the Jamuna, the Buriganga, the Turag and the Dhaleshwari yesterday.

“In next three to four days, water will increase in the rivers of the country's central part,” said Sazzad Hossain, sub-divisional engineer of FFWC. 

It is unlikely that water levels in rivers around Dhaka would cross the danger mark, he told The Daily Star.

According to the FFWC, water was flowing above danger mark at 17 river points in the northern, central and north-eastern regions.

Ten houses were lost to the Brahmaputra that witnessed rise in water level in Sherpur Sadar yesterday. A vast area of cropland was inundated in the area.

More than 500 houses and croplands were damaged by water of the overflowing Padma in Charjanajat union of Shibchar in Madaripur.

More areas in Louhjang and Tongibari of Munshiganj were inundated.

Ferry service on the Mawa-Kawrakandi route was disrupted due to strong current and river erosion at Mawa for the sixth consecutive day yesterday, leaving over 450 vehicles stranded on both sides of the Padma.

Meanwhile, many of the several lakh marooned people, including two lakh in Kurigram alone, have been facing food and drinking water crises.

At a press briefing at the secretariat, Disaster Management Secretary Mesbaul Alam said the ministry has so far allocated 8,000 tonnes of rice and Tk 3 crore for the affected people.

The ministry also asked the local administration to distribute relief materials among the affected people, he said.

Published: 12:01 am Monday, August 25, 2014

Last modified: 10:20 pm Monday, August 25, 2014

TAGS: lalmonirhat northern districts Nilphamari Gaibandha Kurigram Teesta Farmers flood land damaged

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