Thousands of villagers on both sides of the Kapotakhya river, in Sagardari union of Jashore's Keshabpur upazila, are risking their lives while crossing the river in small boats as the bamboo bridge over the river got partially washed away almost a month ago.
A section of the bridge was washed away by unseasonably strong current that was getting obstructed by piles of water hyacinth tangled around the bamboo piers of the bridge, locals said.
Sagardari market committee built the bridge at a cost of about Tk 1 lakh.
With the bridge out of order, livelihoods of hundreds of farmers and traders from eight villages including Sharsha, Sarulia, Senergati, Dhandia, Keshnagar, Panchpara -- all in neighbouring Satkhira -- are now in jeopardy as they depend on the Sagardari market to sell their produce and merchandise.
Locals are now passing days in anxiety as their children are also risking their lives while crossing the river in boats to reach their tutors' houses for lessons.
Ramesh Chandra, a teacher at Keshabpur Government Pilot High School and a resident of Sharsha village in Satkhira, right across the river, said repair of the bridge should be the highest priority of the authorities before any fatal accident takes place in the river.
Razzak Ahmed, general secretary of Sagardari market committee, said a permanent bridge on the Kapotakhya river is a longstanding demand of Sagardari residents as it would allow easy and safe movement across the river for thousands of locals as well as visitors.
Contacted, Mustafijul Islam, chairman of Sagardari Union Parishad, said the bamboo bridge sustained damage due to unusually strong current in the Kapotakhya river and they would take urgent steps to repair it.