Flood-hit pregnant women in Kurigram are exposed to health risks as they are deprived of proper healthcare services.
With homes washed away, many of them have taken shelter on roads, dykes and rail line.
At least eight women have given birth at makeshift homes on the railway line between Balabari station and Ramna station in Kurigram's Chilmari upazila in the last one week, said Dr Nazrul Islam, deputy director at the Kurigram family planning office.
Minki Begum, a nine-month pregnant woman, has taken shelter on the rail line. Speaking to The Daily Star, she said, "Our house is flooded. We have been living here for the last couple of days. But the environment here is very unhealthy."
She expressed worries that her health might deteriorate as she did not have enough food.
Another flood-victim Shamsunnahar Begum, who is nine-and-a-half-month pregnant, said she needed to talk to a doctor about her health problems, but she didn't find any health worker there.
Dr Nazrul said government health workers have been asked to visit the flood shelters and provide healthcare services to the victims.
According to the statistics of the district administration, around 400 villages of Kurigram's all nine upazilas have been hit by flood which has affected about 2.5 lakh people till Sunday.
In Munshiganj, some 73 villages have gone under water and another 15 are at risk of being flooded as the Padma was flowing 72cm above the danger mark at Bhagyakul point yesterday.
Meanwhile, Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) said the water level in almost all the rivers of the country remained stable yesterday.
But the Jamuna, Brahmaputra, Dharala, Teesta and Meghna rivers may rise slightly today due to heavy rainfall, it added.
Besides, there was a rising trend in the water level in the rivers adjacent to the capital and this may continue till tomorrow.
The overall flood situation in the country's northern and north-eastern regions will improve today, while the situation may remain stable in the districts adjacent to the capital, the FFWC said in a bulletin.
Some 15 rivers were still flowing above the danger level yesterday, it said.
About 24,140 square kilometre area has been inundated by flood, according to a report of National Disaster Response Co-ordination Centre (NDRCC).
Over 26 lakh people from 90 upazilas of 18 districts have been affected by the flood which has caused at least 21 deaths, said the report.
A total of 1,443 flood shelters have been opened and 212 medical teams are carrying out activities to provide healthcare services to the victims.
CROPS WORTH TK 349 CR DAMAGED
The ongoing flood has so far caused crop losses amounting to at least Tk 349 crore of 3.44 lakh farmers mainly from the country's northern and central regions, according to an estimate of the agriculture ministry.
The ministry in a press statement yesterday said flooding has affected crops on 76,210 hectares of land in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Bogura, Sirajganj, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Jamalpur, Netrakona, Rajshahi, Manikganj and Tangail between June 25 and July 9.
Of the 76,210 hectares, crops on 41,918 hectares have been damaged completely.
The ministry also said crops on 83,000 hectares of land in Manikganj, Bogura, Tangail, Natore, Naogaon, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Faridpur, Madaripur, Rajbari and others districts have been damaged by flood between July 9 and 19. However, the financial loss from the damage was yet to be calculated, said the statement.
Officials placed the information at a meeting, chaired by Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque.
The minister said it would be possible to overcome the shock from the flood if the situation did not worsen further.
Razzaque asked all to prepare alternative places for seedbeds for Aman paddy as many were damaged due to the flood.
"We have enough seeds in our stock and it should be distributed among the farmers," he said.
[Our Lalmonirhat correspondent contributed to this report.]