Rising water level in Ganges basin deteriorates flood situation further

Publish: 5:33 PM, July 28, 2020 | Update: 5:33:PM, July 28, 2020

RAJSHAHI,  – Incessant rise of water level of the most rivers in the Ganges Basin caused by heavy downpour and onrush of water from upper catchment for the last couple of days further deteriorated the flood situation in the region.

Of the total 30 river points after monitored in Ganges Basin regularly, water levels increased at 18 stations, while decreased at nine stations and remained stable at three points at 9 am today aggravating the flood situation in the char (river bed) and other low-lying areas.

But the rivers were flowing below danger level at 23 points, while above danger mark at six points this morning.

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, Talbaria and 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 five centimeters (CM) at Pankha in Chapainawabganj, four cm at Rajshahi, three cm at Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria points each while the level in the Padma River increased by one cm at Goalunda point.

But the Ganges River was flowing 159 cm and 166 cm below the danger level at Rajshahi and Pankha points respectively, he added.

Besides, the water level of the Korotoa River and the Jamuna River under the Brahmaputra Basin which flows in Bogura and Sirajganj districts have seen a receding trend this morning creating a forecast of improving the flood situation in the two districts within the next couple of days.

Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, Executive Engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), said the water level in the Korotoa River increased by two cm at Bogura point while decreased by 24 cm at Chak Rahimpur. The river was flowing 147 cm and five cm below the danger mark at the two stations respectively this morning.

The Jamuna River decreased by 13 cm at Sariakandi in Bogura, nine cm at Kajipur in Sirajganj and 11 cm at Sirajganj point and the river was still flowing 100 cm, 84 cm and 73 cm above the danger mark at Sariakandi, Kazipur and Sirajganj points respectively.

He also said the water level in Gur River increased by five cm at Shingra point in Natore district and the river was flowing 91 cm above the danger mark.

The Atrai River was flowing 112 cm above the danger level at Baghabari point in Sirajganj district with one cm further rise this morning.

Water level in the Mohananda River also decreased by three cm at Rohanpur point in Chapainawabganj district and the river was flowing 76 cm below the danger mark.

The Atrai River was still flowing 18 cm above the danger mark at Atrai point in Naogaon with seven cm decrease afresh while 287 cm below the danger mark with 45 cm decrease 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 five stations, while decreased at eight stations and stable at one point.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has undertaken all-possible measures to prevent any outbreak of water-borne diseases among the marooned people in the flood-affected areas amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Divisional Director of Health Dr Gopendra Nath Acharya told BSS that 658 medical teams are working in 65 flood affected unions under 14 upazilas in the division. Besides, 18 flood shelters were opened in Bogura district.

He added that 50 unions in Sirajganj, 10 in Bogura and five in Natore are the worst affected ones.

We have, so far, received reports of twelve deaths, caused by eight drowning in Sirajganj and two in Naogaon, while two others by snake bite in Sirajganj,” said Dr Gopendra Nath.

He added that they have also recorded 1,396 other patients suffering from various other flood-related diseases including 53 diarrheal and six respiratory tract infections since July 1 last.

Moinul Islam, Additional Divisional Commissioner of Rajshahi, said standing crops on around 16,000 hectares of land were affected in Rajshahi, Bogura, Natore, Naogaon, Sirajganj and Pabna districts.

He also 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 Sirajganj, Bogura and Pabna districts, Mainul Islam added.