Unremitting rise of water gets flood situation worse in Rajshahi

Publish: 6:43 PM, July 26, 2020 | Update: 6:43:PM, July 26, 2020

RAJSHAHI,  Incessant rise of water level of the most rivers in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Basins, triggered by heavy downpour and onrush of water from upper catchment for the last couple of days further worsened the flood situation in the region.

Water level in the existing rivers of the two basins rose at 40 points, receded at 18 points and remained stable at two points which further aggravated the flood situation in the char (river bed) and other low-lying areas.

Local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has recorded a rising trend of water levels in almost all points like Pankha, Rajshahi, Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria Goalunda in the past 24 hours ending 9 am today, said Mukhlesur Rahman, Superintending Engineer of BWDB.

Water level of the Ganges River increased by 14 centimetre (CM) at Pankha in Chapainawabganj, 10 cm at Rajshahi, five cm at Hardinge Bridge and 12 cm at Talbaria points while the level in the Padma River increased by five cm each at Goalunda, Bhagyakul and Mawa.

But the Ganges River was flowing 183 cm and 171 cm below the danger level at Rajshahi and Pankha points while 21 cm above the danger mark at Talbaria point this morning, he added.

Of the total 61 river points being monitored in Ganges and Brahmaputra Basins regularly, water levels increased at 40 stations, while decreased at 18 stations and remained stable at two points at 9 am today.

Besides, the water level of the Korotoa River and the Jamuna River which flowing in Bogura and Sirajganj districts have also seen a rising trend this morning worsening the flood situation in the two districts further.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, Executive Engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), said the water level in the Korotoa River increased by five cm at Bogura point.

The Jamuna River increased by two cm each at Sariakandi in Bogura, six cm at Kajipur in Sirajgonj and five cm at Sirajgonj point and the river was flowing 119 cm, 100 cm and 88 cm above the danger mark at Sariakandi, Kazipur and Sirajgonj points respectively this morning.

He also said the water level in Gur River increased by three cm at Shingra point in Natore district and the river was flowing 93 cm above the danger mark.

The Atrai River was flowing 106 cm above the danger level at Baghabari point in Sirajganj district with four cm further rise this morning.

Water level in the Mohananda River also increased by five cm at Rohanpur and seven cm at Chapainawabganj while the Little Jamuna River increased by three cm at Naogaon. But the rivers were still flowing 73cm, 91 cm and 15 cm below the danger level at the three points respectively.

The Atrai River was flowing 27 cm above the danger mark at Atrai point in Naogaon while 189 cm below the danger mark with 42 cm decrease afresh at Mohadevpur point.

Of the 14 river points both in Ganges and Brahmaputra Basins, monitored in almost all eight districts under Rajshahi division, water levels increased at 11 stations, while decreased at two stations and stable at one point.

Meanwhile, the flood situation in many areas has worsened because of inundation of new more areas and the collapse of flood control dams and embankments at different areas in the division.

Around 20 thousand families of one hundred villages of five upazilas in Pabna district have been marooned as they were waterlogged. Many of the affected areas are also facing massive river erosion.

Asif Anam Siddiquee, Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Bera said a large number of people of four unions in Bera upazila have been affected by the flood.

Four unions have been affected for immense waterlogging while several hundred families in the affected areas have been marooned in Sujanagar Upazila, said UNO Rawshan Alam.

Hundreds of houses and mosques have been flooded by the mighty Jamuna River in Sirajganj during the last couple of days.

A good number of people have become homeless and indigent due to the river erosion. The affected people took refuge in shelter centres for their for safety, leaving behind their belongings including furniture, household goods and even cattle heads.

Some three other nearby villages of Sadar upazila are on the verge of erosion. The river erosion started Saturday in Panchthakuri area of Chowgacha union and washed away hundreds of houses.

The on going flood has been causing a huge financial loss to the betel leaf farmers in Rajshahi district besides posing a serious threat to the cash crop farming in the days to come.

According to sources of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and farmers concerned, the extent of loss caused by the natural disasters is estimated at around TK 5.5 crore which is detrimental to the farmers.

Moinul Islam, Additional Commissioner of Rajshahi division, said the district and upazila administrations with the local public representatives have further intensified relief activities in the worst-affected areas.

He also said the district administrations and BWDB are closely monitoring the situation and taking instant steps when and where necessary during the deluge in Rajshahi division.

Around 5.51 lakh people of 1.38 lakh flood-affected households are getting relief materials in different districts to mitigate their livelihood-related sufferings in the disaster.

The government has been distributing relief materials like 674.15 tonnes of rice, TK 11.44 lakh in cash, TK four lakh for baby food, around 4.25 lakh packets of dry foods and another TK four lakh for cattle-feed in the worst-affected areas of Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj, Sirajganj and Bogura districts.

The government has also stocks of another 1,484.85 tonnes of rice, TK 34.04 lakh in cash, TK six lakh for baby food, 8,150 packets of dry foods and TK six lakh for cattle feed for all the eight districts in the division to cope with the adverse flood situation.

If necessary, there are also additional relief materials of 1,500 tonnes of rice, TK six lakh for baby food, 15,000 packets of dry food and TK 15 lakh for cattle-feed for Sirajgonj, Bogura and Pabna districts, Mainul Islam added.