The embankment of 35/1 polder of Water Development Board (WDB) in Sharankhola upazila has collapsed at many places, raising fear of erosion among the people of the area.
Erosion devours hundreds of bighas of cultivable land and washes away many homesteads every year, villagers told this correspondent.
A project under Coastal Embankment Improvement Project (CEIP), funded by the World Bank, tried to prevent erosion with sand-filled sacks and bamboos, but they failed as they did not carry out river training, locals said.
On November 15, 2007, super cyclone Sidr hit 35/1 polder. Thousands of people were killed. After that, people of the area demanded construction of a durable embankment in the area.
Construction work of 62 kilometres of sustainable dam in Morrelganj and Sharankhola started in January 2016 under CEIP, but they did not do river training properly, so erosion still takes place, local public representatives alleged.
“Hundreds of metres of embankment under 35/1 polder have gone into the river. A durable embankment can never be built without proper river training,” said Rahman Sheikh, a resident of the area.
"We have to move our houses repeatedly due to the river erosion. The river has devoured all of our ancestral land. Now we are living on others' land,'' said Rustam Ali of Bogi village in Southkhali union.
“We are on the bank of the Baleshwar river. We lost at least 800 lives during the cyclone Sidr in 2007. In response to our demand, construction of the embankment on the bank of the Baleshwar river started in 2016,'' said Southkhali Union Parishad Chairman Mozammel Hossain.
“Construction of the embankment was started without river training. It is broken again and again in Tafalbari, Bogi, Old Launch-ghat, Gabtala, Satghar and Southkhali,” he added.
"We have sent a proposal for training the river. River training will start when the proposal is passed,'' said CEIP Executive Engineer Abdul Hannan.
“Efforts are being made to save the places currently at risk in Sharankhola,'' he added.