Untimely erosion by the Teesta river washed away around 150 acres of croplands and rendered 55 families shelterless in Sreepur, Kapasia and Chandipur unions under Sundarganj upazila in the last one week.
Many people living in erosion-prone areas are shifting their belongings to safe places.
“I don't know where my next destination will be as my homestead was eroded by the rapacious Teesta river three days ago,” said Ansar Ali a farm labourer of Ujan Bochagari village in Kapasia union.
“I had over nine bighas of landed properties in Chandipur union two decades ago, but all of those went into the river and now I have become ultra-poor. This is the third time I have shifted my huts to another place,” he added.
“I cultivated Aman on two and a half bighas of land, but the greedy river did not allow me a bit of time for harvesting the half ripe crop and washed it away five days ago,” said Kabej Ali, a small farmer of Badamer Char village.
“If the erosion continues, I will have to shift my dwelling houses to a safe place and I am worried about where to take shelter. Three bighas of my croplands were devoured by the surging water of the Teesta,” said Rafiqul Islam, ward member of Kapasia Union Parishad.
Meanwhile, 75 acres of cropland have gone into the river and 160 acres are under threat of erosion, and around 35 families have lost their homesteads, he said. The erosion victims are taking shelter on embankments or nearby char lands, he added.
“We have asked the local Water Development Board (WDB) to take steps to stop widespread erosion, but nothing has happened yet. More and more areas are being eroded every day,” said Sreepur Union Parishad Chairman Shahidul Islam.
“A large-scale river bank protection programme is being taken up to stop erosion by the Teesta and Brahmaputra rivers. The work will start from next year,” said Gaibandha WDB Executive Engineer Moklesur Rahman.
The upazila administration has distributed CI sheets and cash among the erosion victims, said Sundarganj Upazila Project Implementation Officer Nurunnabi Sarker.