Cold in North takes toll on the poor | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 27, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:17 AM, January 27, 2021

Cold in North takes toll on the poor

People of the northern and southern regions have been suffering through the bone-chilling cold that has been prevailing over one month in phases.

Such adverse weather started sweeping over the regions near the end of December. The temperature improved for a day or two but the mercury took a dip again.

"In most days over the last one month, we saw sunshine just for a little while at noon," said Mokammel Hossain, a resident of Jashore Sadar upazila.

"We poor people cannot tolerate it anymore. We cannot work properly.  We have to keep our entire bodies covered with warm clothes. How can we earn our livelihood without being able to work?" said Rahmat Ali, who works as a day labourer in Jashore town.

In Kurigram and Lalmonirhat, farmers and day labourers are the worst victims of the cold. Many of them have become unemployed.

Manirul Islam, 44, a rickshaw puller at Shaheed Shahjahan Colony slum area in Lalmonirhat town, said, "We cannot pull rickshaw due to cold. Furthermore, the number of passengers has reduced as well. So, we have been without any work for the last few days."

Nur Islam, 48, a farmer of Sardob village in Kurigram sadar upazila, said, "The cold is so severe that we cannot work on croplands. We have to stay inside our homes. There has been no sunlight for days."

"We don't have sufficient warm clothes, we try to keep us warm by setting straw on fire," said Rasheda Bewa, 55, a farm labourer at same village.

Lipton Chandra Saha, 55, a resident of Lalmonirhat town, said he was involved with export and import trading that had been halted due to the cold weather.

In Thakurgoan and Panchagrah, it has become very difficult for people to stay outside their homes due to cold wind coming from the Himalaya.

"It is very hard to work in cropland amid such severe cold. But we have to do it as we don't have any alternative income source," said Tedi Barman,45, a farm labourer of Farabari village in Thakurgaon sadar upazila.

Meanwhile, a bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department yesterday said, "Moderate to thick fog may occur over the country from midnight to morning."

"Night and day temperature may remain nearly unchanged over the country," said the bulletin that was released at 9:00am yesterday with a 24-hour validity.

Yesterday's lowest temperature was recorded at Moulvibazar's Sreemangal with 8.3 degree Celsius, said a Met report.

Meanwhile, ferry services on the country's two major ferry routes were suspended for hours due to thick fog, troubling both passengers and transport operators.

The two ferry routes -- Shimulia-Banglabazar and Paturia-Dauladia -- are considered as the gateways of the country's 21 northern districts.

(Our correspondents from Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon and Manikganj contributed to the report.)

 

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