Eid no longer means joy for the residents of five upazilas in Sirajganj, as they have lost everything in the recent flood.
Over 15 thousand people in the five upazilas have been affected by the flood. They lost their homes, croplands and livelihoods, and had to seek shelter in flood protection embankments and became scattered to different areas in the district for survival.
Shahitan Begum, 60, of Pachil village under Shahzadpur upazila, lost her home in the flood last month and is now living in a small makeshift shanty on a piece of rented land near the village market.
She no longer affords food twice a day as the flood and river erosion took away everything she had.
“When the village got flooded, I could not save food grains, furniture and money at my home. Now my home no longer exists as the hungry Jamuna devoured my homestead and everything of my family-owned. I am struggling to survive as I have nothing and there is also no work for me,” Shahitan said.
“We are barely surviving with minimum food; in most of the days we don’t get to eat twice due to the lack of food grains,” she lamented.
“At a time when it is costly to even survive barely, Eid festivities have no meaning to us,” Shahitan said adding “our joy of Eid got washed away into the river.”
Johura Begum, another flood victim of the same village now living at a temporary flood shelter near the village market, also echoed what Shahitan had said.
“We are struggling to manage food for everyone in the family for the last couple of months as the recent flood washed away all we had. Eid hardly means anything anymore,” Johura said.
“We feel happy if we can manage just some rice and salt to eat for the whole family,” she said.
“Amid such destitute situation, the joy of Eid with new clothes and tasty food items seem too farfetched for us. Eid cannot make us happy anymore,” Johura added.
A total of 15,434 people from over 3,079 families of 408 villages in the five upazilas were greatly affected having lost everything in the recent flood.
Meanwhile, another 3,13,997 people in the district were partially affected by the flood, according to the Sirajganj relief and rehabilitation office.
A total of 6,505 houses were entirely damaged while 44,013 houses were partially damaged during the flood.
Talking to The Daily Star, Hasen Ali, a resident of Ghatabari village under Enayetpur upazila, urged the authorities concerned to provide them relief materials and rehabilitation for their survival.
“Victims like us, who have lost everything in the recent flood in last one month, need more relief materials and rehabilitation so that we can return to our normal life,” he said.
Dr Faruk Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Sirajganj district, told The Daily Star that they have already submitted a report about the flood damage to the ministry concerned for getting fund for rehabilitation of the victims.