Flood leaves thousands in dire straits
As flood water recedes, thousands of affected families, from two districts in Sylhet division, are returning home only to see their dwellings ravaged by the deluge.
Ashraf Ali, relief and rehabilitation officer of the Moulvibazar's relief and rehabilitation department, said around 51,720 families have been affected by the flood in 30 unions of Kulaura, Moulvibazar sadar upazila, Sreemangal, Kamalganj and Rajnagor upazilas of Moulvibazar district.
He said 208 houses were completely damaged while 1,688 houses had been partially damaged due to the flood in Kulaura upazila. “We didn't get other upazilas' data as the flood water is still receding,” he said.
Md. Mamudul Haque, upazila nirbahi officer of Kamalganj upazila of Moulvibazar told this correspondent, around 1,000 houses were destroyed in the upazila.
A total of 1,05,100 families have been affected as floodwater destroyed thousands of houses in 51 unions of Kanaighat, Joyantapur, Guainghat and Zakiganj upazilas of Sylhet district, said Shahjahan Kabir, relief and rehabilitation officer in Sylhet.
Nepurun Begum, 50, a widow, from the remote Iterghat area under Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar, said, “My house was totally damaged. But I did not get any help from the government or any donor organisation.”
“I, along with my six-member family, live in a shabby hut beside the embankment on the Monu River as I could not build new a house after losing my home in the flood,” said Silvester Topno of Palkichera village under Kulaura upazila.
Dhono Roy of Tilokpur village in the upazila echoed the same, adding that his family was struggling to survive as there was also no work for them.
Many people have also lost their little stocks of food grain and they are facing starvation, said Chinmoy Deb, a social worker of Kamalganj upazila of Moulvibazar.
The government has allocated food grains for the flood affected people in the district but locals say it is not enough.
While the overall data could not be collected, Tofael Islam, the deputy commissionerof Moulvibazar, said 1,533 tonnes of rice and Tk 13 lakh had been distributed.
He also said there were around 1,000 corrugated iron sheets and Tk 30 lakh left for further distribution.
When asked how these could be properly allocated to over 51,000 affected families, he said they would distribute the relief according to the needs of the families.
"I received 18 pieces of corrugated iron sheets and Tk 500 cash as relief. But no one gave me a grant for the reconstruction of our damaged house," said Sufia Begum of Kanihati village in Hazipur union in Moulvibazar's Kulaura upazila.
"Rice allocated for my union is too inadequate to rehabilitate the large number of flood affected people," said Md. Jonab Ali, chairman of Sharifpur union in the upazila of Moulvibazar, adding he had received 23 tonnes of rice for around 2,300 families.
"Many destitute families in remote areas are suffering for want of food and shelter. We could not help them," said Nowab Bakhor Ali Khan, chairman of Prithimpasa union in the upazila.