WITH the water of the major rivers like Brahmaputra, Jamuna and Padma flowing below danger level, there has been a marked improvement in the flood situation in northern districts. Even so, in absence of any tangible effort from the government to provide relief, the flood-affected people of those districts are passing their days in great distress. Hundreds of families in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj, Rajbari, for example, have been waiting in vain for weeks for succour from the government. But whatever they have received so far by way of relief is insignificant to meet their needs.
One simply fails to understand why the government repose to the flood, which struck the region more than two weeks back, has been so lackadaisical. Thousands have been passing their days without basic needs for survival like food, drinking water, fodder for animals and medicines to protect them against water-borne diseases.
It is worthwhile to note at this point that the flood has not only dislodged people from their homes, it has also damaged the crops in the fields. In particular, transplantation aman paddy over about 150 thousand hectares in 19 districts is about to be damaged by the flood. But how can what is still left of the crops be saved unless flood-affected people, a large proportion of whom are peasants and farmhands, are helped out of their present predicament?
Before things turn disastrous, the government must act fast to meet these urgent needs of the flood-hit people.