When losses incurred by fish farmers in the entire district of Netrakona totals to Tk 10 crore, the ones in Kalmakanda upazila alone suffered around Tk 7 crore in losses due to three flash floods in one month.
The losses have been severe as nearly 2,500 fish ponds out of around 3,600 in the upazila have been washed away in the flash floods, said Anik Rahman, fisheries officer in Kalmakanda upazila.
While speaking with this correspondent, Netrakona Fisheries Officer Fazlul Kabeer said among 38,500 fish farmers in the district, around 3,600 -- mostly in Kalmakanda -- have been affected by the floods.
Other upazilas also affected by the floods are Sadar, Madan, Khaliajuri and Barhatta, he added.
Wabidul Haque, chairman of Kharnoi Union Parishad under Kalmakanda upazila, said 38 villages of the union experienced three back-to-back floods within a span of one month, thanks to floodwaters rushing down from hills up north through the Boithakhali and Ganeshwari rivers.
The floods in his union have washed away around 700 fish ponds, causing a damage of over Tk 1 crore, he added.
Fish farmer Nizam Uddin, from Bausam village in the same union, said fish from six out of his eight ponds were washed away, resulting in a loss of around Tk 4 lakh. "I run my family with income from fish cultivation. But now I'm stuck in a dire situation amid the ongoing crisis [of floods and Covid-19 pandemic]."
Nurul Islam Mondol, from Sundarighat village, said he took a bank loan of Tk 10 lakh for fish cultivation in 10 ponds. But after fish from five of the ponds were washed away by floodwaters, he incurred a loss of over Tk 5 lakh.
"Now I'm in a deep crisis as I don't how I would repay the loan," lamented the farmer.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Faruk Ahmmed said aside from fish farms, floods also damaged seed beds for Aman paddy on around 49 acres of land in Kalmakanda upazila.