A noble initiative | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:00 AM, September 09, 2018

A noble initiative

Villagers rebuild dyke thru voluntary work in Lalmonirhat

Residents of Dhubni village in the Teesta river basin area of Hatibandha upazila rebuilt a collapsed dyke with their own efforts and funds and assistance from the local administration as the district Water Development Board (WDB) did not any steps to build the collapsed dyke.

Villagers said a 300-metre dyke collapsed due to pressure of water from the Teesta river between August 7 and August 10 and the floodwater entered many villages and damaged a huge quantity of Aman saplings in the fields.

Azgar Ali, 55, a farmer of Dhubni village, said Aman saplings on his four bighas of land were under water as the river entered the fields after the dyke collapsed. “As the WDB officials and local administration did not take steps immediately to repair the collapsed dyke, the villagers decided to rebuild it voluntarily on August 11,” he said, adding that he donated 20 bamboos.

“Local administration stood besides us when we started working voluntarily to build the collapsed dyke on August 11,” said Nazrul Islam, 62, a farmer of Dhubni village. “Over 100 villagers worked together to build the collapsed dyke for three days from August 11,” he said, adding that he donated 30 bamboos.

Mahibar Rahman, 45, of the village, said at least 1,000 bamboos and 1,500 sand-filled bags were used to build the collapsed dyke and now the villages are free from floodwater from the Teesta river. “Most of the bamboos and sandbags were donated by villagers, while some were given by the local administration,” he said.

“Now we are happy as we unitedly built a dyke in the village, and of course we feel proud of working together in the greater interest of saving villagers from floodwaters,” said Atiqur Rahman, a college student of the village. “We collected bamboos and funds from the villagers by visiting door to door,” he added.

Upazila Project Implementation Officer Ferdous Ahmed said sandbags and funds for purchasing bamboos were allocated to the villagers for building the dyke.

Upazila Agriculture Officer Anowar Hossain told this correspondent that Aman saplings on large tracts of land in six villages were washed away the after the collapse of the dyke, and the agriculture officials were assessing the damage.

Upazila Parishad Chairman Liakot Hossain Bachchu said he tried to contact the WDB authorities several times in this regard but did not get any response.

“As the WDB authorities did not help repair or build the collapsed dyke, villagers built the dyke with their own efforts,” he said. “I did my level best to help the villagers, and I was with them on the spot,” he added.

District WDB Executive Engineer Abdullah Al-Mamun said no fund was available to conduct any work immediately. “We will prepare a project profile to build paramagnet dyke on the spot in the dry season,” he added.

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