• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

Schools now flood shelters

Situation yet to improve in 19 districts

Star Report
Shimulbari Government Primary School in Dhunat upazila of Bogra has been declared closed as it is partially submerged in water after the river Jamuna flooded, leaving the fates of the students' education uncertain. Photo: Star
Shimulbari Government Primary School in Dhunat upazila of Bogra has been declared closed as it is partially submerged in water after the river Jamuna flooded, leaving the fates of the students' education uncertain. Photo: Star

The ongoing floods are not only causing untold sufferings for over two million people of 19 districts but also hampering educational activities in the affected areas.

Many thousands of flood-hit people, after being marooned, have taken shelter in local schools, colleges and madrasas which are yet to be engulfed by the calamity.

The natural disaster has kept educational institutions closed. However, the exact number of affected institutions is yet to be determined.

Thousands of students of the affected areas have lost their books, school uniforms and other essential educational items.

The situation will surely affect the examinees of the Primary School Certificate (PSC) and Junior School Certificate (JSC) levels there. The examinations are hardly two and a half months away.

Upstream Jamuna waters have flooded at least 148 primary and high schools, six colleges and 12 madrasas in the district's Sonatola, Shariakandi and Dhunat upazilas, affecting the education of some 75 thousand students, reports our Bogra correspondent.

Only the top halves of the buildings of Nowkhila PN High School in Shariakandi upazila of Bogra are above the flood-water. The pictures were taken yesterday. Photo: Star
Only the top halves of the buildings of Nowkhila PN High School in Shariakandi upazila of Bogra are above the flood-water. The pictures were taken yesterday. Photo: Star

“I don't know whether I can appear for the exam, which will be held on the 22nd of November,” said Sumon Shaha, a PSC examinee of Gozaria Primary School in Shariakandi upazila.

Sumon said the floodwaters washed away his books and other essential educational materials recently.

Like the ill-fated boy, many other students in Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Feni and Gaibandha were going through the same situation. 

Meanwhile, the waters of all the major rivers except for the Padma were receding yesterday, according to a bulletin of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC).

As the floodwater was receding from the northern districts, the flood situations in the central region, which include such districts as Shariatpur, Madaripur, Munshiganj, Rajbari and Faridpur, may deteriorate in the next two days, added the bulletin.

The water level in the rivers surrounding the capital-- Buriganga, Balu and Turag-- may also rise today, according to the FFWC.

Although floodwaters were receding in the northern districts, people in most flood-hit areas were still reeling under knee-deep water yesterday amid limited efforts of relief distribution, report our correspondents.

In Bogra, floodwaters inundated 62 more villages yesterday as the Jamuna was still flowing above the danger mark.

With this fresh inundation, the number of affected villages in the district reached 262 since the 600-metre embankment collapsed near Shariakandi upazila last Friday.

All the flood victims could not be provided with the necessary relief goods and they are facing a crisis of food, medicine and pure drinking water, said local sources.

In Chandpur, the embankment protecting the town is under threat as the floodwaters coming from the northern districts are receding through the Meghna.

Bangladesh Water Development Board officials have recently declared the embankment vulnerable and have been dumping sand bags into the river, reports our Chandpur correspondent.

Erosion has taken a serious turn at Mawa Ferry Ghat . Fifty square feet of the area, which had seven shops, were engulfed by the mighty Padma yesterday, disrupting ferry services.

In Munshiganj, the flood situation deteriorated yesterday. At least 100 villages have been inundated in the district since last week.

The number of affected villages went up to 50 in seven upazilas of Sherpur as the old Brahmaputra was still flowing above the danger mark.

Khaleda on floods

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged the government was “indifferent” about mitigating the suffering of flood victims.

In a statement, she said “the government is yet to take any effective step to distribute relief materials among the flood-hit people.”

“The flood-affected people have been put in a severe crisis due to a shortage of food, drinking water and medicine,” Khaleda added.

Published: 12:01 am Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Last modified: 9:34 pm Tuesday, September 02, 2014

TAGS: schools districts flood-hit people flood shelters educational activities institutions

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