“Within a few hours, there was so much water that we ran for our life”
Md Raju Mia (35), a resident of Murshibadkura village in Talimpur union on the bank of Hakaluki Haor, and his family have been battling the floods for generations. But this year's flood, caused by incessant rain and water from upstream, has put them in a tough position.
Raju leads his family by selling fish in the local markets and harvesting paddy in their own land but they could take nothing with them when they took shelter at Hakaluki High School flood shelter last Saturday.
Not only Raju, but many people from different villages of Talimpur Union are now staying in shelters. Some have gone to houses of relatives without going to the shelter while some are locked in the water not getting any scope.
While talking to this correspondent at the flood shelter last evening, Raju said, "I understood this that the water was rising. But within a few hours, water had increased so much that we ran for our life and reached the shelter. I have kept all the paddy and rice in the house. I don't have a boat that I can use it to transport the goods to a safe location. Paddy and rice have been damaged in the water. Now I look at people's hands. If someone gave us, we would eat. There is no income either. There is no way to buy food for the family."
Like Raju, the situation is the same for all the people of Sujanagar, Barni, Daserbazar, Nijbahadurpur and North Shahbazpur in Barlekha upazila of Moulvibazar.
About 200 villages under Barlekha upazila of Moulvibazar have been inundated due to the incessant heavy rains in the last few days and water from upstream. Nearly 150,000 people have been affected by the floods.
Nearly 45 km of paved roads, especially those of Talimpur Union adjacent to Hakaluki Haor, have been submerged in the flood water. The boat is the only source of communication.
According to concerned education officials, out of the 151 primary schools in Baralekha upazila, 58 are now under water and 23 have been declared flood shelters, stopping academic activities.
Besides, of 51 high schools and madrasas, 15 have been inundated and 12 have been declared flood shelters. Academic activities have been stopped.
Barlekha Upazila Nirbahi Officer Khandaker Mudachchir Bin Ali said, "We have made preparations to deal with the flood situation. We are constantly monitoring the affected areas."
Cooked foods along with dry ones were distributed at all shelter centres today, he said.
"We are also coordinating with organisations and individuals who are distributing relief materials so that food and relief materials can be delivered to all the flood-affected people," added the UNO.
Translated by Hasan Ali