Thousands out of work in flood-hit areas | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:48 AM, July 10, 2020

Thousands out of work in flood-hit areas

People in the flood-hit districts of northern Bangladesh are struggling to survive with their families as a wave of unemployment hit them hard.

To face this crisis, in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram, many were borrowing money from local lenders at a high interest rate and some were taking advance payment from local farmers against their labours.

Abdal Hossain, 56, of Char Sholmari in Lalmonirhat's Kaliganj upazila, said unemployment and flood made their lives miserable.

"I need money to repair my damaged house and survive with my family. I was forced to take loan from a local moneylender at a high interest," he said.

Mazibar Rahman, 52, of Char Parbati in Kurigram Sadar upazila, said he and five other members of his family were suffering due to lack of jobs at the time.

In Bogura, over 400 families live in Nawapara Char and Chakratinatha Char in Sariakanddi upazila. Almost all of them remained unemployed due to flood.

Bipul, 38, of the Nawapara Char, said, they had no work in the Char area and they could not even go outside the upazila due to restrictions for Covid-19.

"I used to earn Tk 300 every day before coronavirus and flood hit us. Now, I earn nothing. No one gave us relief even in the flood. I am passing the hardest days of my life with six of my family members," he said.

Hosneara, 40, of Nawapara Char, said they did not receive any flood relief from anyone and were barely surviving by lending money from others.

More than 55,000 people in Bogura have been affected by floods and the worst affected people are those living in the remote chars like Nawapara.

Contacted, the district's deputy commissioner Ziaul Haque said he would talk to UNO about this issue.

Sariakandi Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Rasel Miah said he would look into the matter.

In Nilphamari, most people of Char Kharibari village live on catching fish from the Teesta, but now all are unemployed and somehow maintain family with relief goods given by generous people, organisations or government.

Shahidul, 52, of Char Kharibari village in Dimla upazila, said he could not go for fishing as on rush of water in the river could sink his boat.

Dimla Upazila Nirbahi Officer Joyoshree Rani Roy said they had identified 3,125 families as flood victims and supplied 49 metric tonnes of rice and Tk 3 lakh to ease miseries.

Our Lalmonirhat, Bogura and Nilphamari correspondents contributed to this report.

 

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