With floodwater all around, no firewood or food grains for cooking, hardly any source of drinking water and almost no sanitation facilities, each day dawns in the flood-hit areas with indescribable sufferings for the people there.
Adding to the woes of several lakh flood-affected people of the country, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) yesterday said the situations may deteriorate in 14 districts as three major rivers continue to rise.
Having lost homes to raging rivers, many have taken refuge on nearby highlands and embankments and are in need of emergency relief.
Besides, spread of waterborne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and skin diseases, have been reported from Lalmonirhat and Jamalpur districts.
The FFWC finds no immediate possibility of flood in and around Dhaka city although the surrounding rivers are swelling. These rivers are likely to remain below the danger level.
Flood situations in Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Jamalpur, Tangail, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Munshiganj, Rajbari, Faridpur and Sirajganj may “slightly deteriorate” in the next 48 hours, warned the FFWC.
The Brahmaputra, the Jamuna and the Padma rivers may see further rise in the next 72 hours, worsening the flood situations in these districts, Ripon Karmaker, duty officer of the FFWC, told The Daily Star last night.
However, the situations in Netrakona, Sunamganj and Sylhet may improve in the meantime, the FFWC forecasted.
“We cannot take meal three times a day as we do not have firewood or dry space for cooking,” said Amena Begam, 35, of Fanderchar village in Nageshwari upazila.
“We are facing sanitation problems as my house and the nearby areas are under water. Besides, we have to fetch drinking water from the tube-well of a neighbour, whose homestead is on a higher ground,” said Hasina Begam, 42, of Pramanikpara village in Kurigram Sadar.
Like Amena and Hasina, more than three lakh people of 353 villages in the district have been going through immense sufferings for the last two weeks.
And they may not get any respite soon as flood situation in the district further deteriorated yesterday. Water levels of all the 16 rivers, including the Brahmaputra, the Dharla, the Dudhkumar and the Teesta, rose inundating dozens of new villages.
With all the rivers in the district swelling, overall flood situation deteriorated further yesterday increasing sufferings of the flood victims in four upazilas.
Thousands of people of Sundarganj, Gaibandha Sadar, Phulchhari and Shaghata upazilas have been marooned for the last 12 days. Classes have been suspended at 178 government and non-government primary schools and nine high schools in these areas.
Due to the continuing onrush of water from the upstream, at least 20 new villages in Lalmonirhat Sadar and Aditmari upazilas went under water yesterday.
Mobarok Hossain, 68, of Kutibari village bordering with India, said this was the first time in his life he saw flood in his village.
“Our village has been flooded because India constructed a dam at Daribash of Kuchbihar district, only 400 metres from the border line, between January and March this year,” he said.
“As India constructed the dam on the Giridhari river, we have flood here for the first time,” said Mozammel Miah, 70, at Digholtari, another bordering village.
The Giridhari flows into Bangladesh territory as the Gidari which then joins the Dharla river.
The swelling Dharla has flooded the shoal areas, although the water level of the Teesta is decreasing, said AL-Mamun, sub-divisional engineer of the Water Development Board in Lalmonirhat.
Flood situation deteriorated in Jamalpur as the Jamuna was flowing 65 centimetres above the danger mark at Bahadurabad Ghat point.
In Madarganj upazila, a 200-metre stretch of Nadagari-Charnangla embankment has been washed, damaging a large number of homes and inundating 12 new villages.
Around 6,000 people of the area have been left marooned and large tracts of croplands damaged.
Reports of the spreading of waterborne diseases are coming from different flood-hit areas of the district. However, Civil Surgeon Dr Hafizur Rahman of Jamalpur said, “Spreading of diseases is not a matter of concern yet. Nevertheless, a medical team has been kept ready to deal with any unwanted situation.”
Although the flood situation in the district remained almost unchanged, erosion by the mighty Padma has turned devastating as it devoured houses of at least 49 families in Louhajang and Tangibari upazilas in the last few days.
Classes at Kamarkhara Barail Government Primary School have remained suspended since Wednesday as it was found vulnerable to erosion.