Thousands in Pirojpur without protection of embankment for years
Thousands living alongside the Kacha, Baleshwar, Sandhya and Kaliganga rivers in Pirojpur experience flooding especially during the monsoon every year. But till date, no steps were taken to bring them under the coverage of comprehensive embankments along the rivers.
The villages by these rivers in Pirojpur Sadar, Indurkani and Kaukhali upazilas even get flooded every day by tidal waters.
Mirazul Islam, a resident of Togra village by the Kacha river in Indurkani upazila, said, "The entire embankment running beside our village was damaged by Super Cyclone Sidr in 2007."
But even after 14 years passed by, no step was taken to repair or reconstruct the embankment, he lamented.
"Every day, we face difficulty when the village goes under tidal floodwater. We have to pull up our clothes and carry our shoes in our hands while going from place to place," said Sirajul Islam, resident of the same village.
The sufferings worsen when people cannot prepare their meal at home after their kitchens also get flooded -- a phenomenon that has become their way of life through all these years, he added.
Cooking food has been a challenge, as most of the villagers have to raise their stoves temporarily with bricks, said villager Amina Khatun.
Locals said many villagers living along the Kacha river already moved out permanently to other areas.
For the other thousands of inhabitants, the authorities need to take urgent steps to build a permanent embankment in Chandipur, Balipara and Sadar unions in Indurkani upazila and Sankarpasha, Shariktala-Dumuritala and Kalakhali unions in Pirojpur Sadar upazila, they also said.
Togra village resident Zakir Hossain said, "If a permanent embankment with concrete blocks and geotextile bags are not constructed here, it will be difficult to live in the villages beside the river in Pirojpur Sadar and Indurkani upazilas."
Another local, Julu Hossain, said, "Sometimes officials from Water Development Board (WDB) as well as journalists visit these areas, but there has been no progress as far as the construction of an embankment is concerned."
Contacted, WDB Executive Engineer in Pirojpur Mahbube Moula Md Mehedy Hasan said out of the total of 315 kilometres of embankment in the district, the condition of the entire embankment along the Kacha river in Indurkani and Pirojpur Sadar upazilas is the worst.
Another 100 kilometres of embankment is needed to protect all who live alongside the river, he said, adding, "A process is underway to prepare a development project proposal (DPP) for the construction of an embankment from Indurkani to Hulerhat in Pirojpur Sadar upazila."