1 lakh Sidr victims in Sharankhola still facing water crisis | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2008

1 lakh Sidr victims in Sharankhola still facing water crisis

Victims of cyclonic storm Sidr that hit the southern region of the country in mid-November last year, over one lakh people of Sharankhola upazila are still suffering from acute crisis of pure drinking water.
It is feared that the crisis will take an alarming turn in the coming summer due to lack of ponds having pure water, salinity and arsenic contamination. Ponds filled with filth and garbage during the Sidr are yet to be cleansed while the remote Sidr-hit villages are yet to get services of NGOs to purify the water. NGOs have not come forward to solve acute crisis of pure drinking water in the remote villages, said Abdul Majid of Dakkhin Rajapur village. He said about 40,000 people of Sidr-hit Dakkhin Rajapur, Uttar Rajapur and Malia Rajapur have been facing crisis of pure drinking water for the last four months.
Chhoto Rajapur, Uttar Rajapur, Malia Rajapur and Uttar Sonapur are some other worst affected villages.
Ponds that are main sources of drinking water in most of Sidr-hit villages in Sharankhola have become totally useless, a project coordinator of CARE said, adding that installation of tube wells is not also possible due to technical reasons.
Admitting severe crisis of pure drinking water in most areas of the upazila, UNO Shahnewaz Talukder said 200 sand filters (PSF) are needed on an emergency basis to overcome the situation. Non-governmental organisation ECHO has agreed to finance the PSF project, he added.
A number of landless people in the upazila are still living in makeshift tents under the open sky as they did not get any help from government and non-government organisations to reconstruct their houses destroyed by the calamity.
Landless people said their woes would increase in the coming summer and rainy seasons as they have been living in makeshift tents made of polythene sheets.
Shefali Begum of Southkhali said she lives with her five children in a polythene-made tent as her house on the bank of the Baleshwar River was completely destroyed by the natural disaster.
Jainab Begum, a widow, said she is living with her children in a tent for the last four months as Sidr destroyed her tin-roofed house at Southkhali. Similar complains were made by
Yusuf Fakir, Shahidul Howlader, Mukta Begum and Emdad Ali of Uttar Southkhali have also similar stories to tell.
Neither the government nor NGOs provided them any help to reconstruct their destroyed houses, they said.

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