Floods kill 10 more, maroon thousands afresh

Floods kill 10 more, maroon thousands afresh

At least nine villagers drowned in flood waters in Jamalpur, Netrokona and Sirajganj while one died of snake bike in the worst flood hit Gaibandha district in 24 hours ending Saturday morning, according to the Health Emergency Control Room.

The death toll due to floods rose to 38.

Devastating floods submerged crops and grazing grounds creating huge crisis for the farmers and their cattle.

Initially villagers were mainly concerned about their own lives, homesteads and saving cattle.

After moving to higher grounds with cattle the crises of no food and fodder became impossible for them to solve.

Distress selling of cattle is the lone option left to the countless marooned villagers.

‘I sold a cow and a goat at half their prices,’ 35-year old Ayesha Khatun of Sulkur Bazar, Pachgachhi, Kurigram, told New Age correspondent in Kurigram.

Ayesha said she did not know how she would save her three more cows and three goats when she lives in a plastic tent on embankment with her children.

‘I raised these cattle keeping Korbani Eid market in view. But my hopes are just dashed,’ said Ayesha almost starving for the last six days.

Kurigram is one of the best places for cattle rearing in Bangladesh for its over 3,000 hectares of grazing grounds on 300 shoals dotting the northern most district on the devastating Brahmaputra.

‘Rearing cattle is very common in the district. Almost every family raises cattle for augmenting earnings,’ said Abdul Hye Sarker, district livestock officer.

A total of 56 out of 73 unions in the district are already under water, with most of its pastures destroyed, said Hye.

Hay price soared to Tk six per kg from Tk three and rice bran price also shot up, he said.

Hye said that Kurigram held significant position in meeting national cattle demand and was expected to provide 10 lakh cows and goats for the Korbani Eid.

The livestock ministry has been indifferent to the report sent by Hye.

The livestock officers in the district are advising people to grow lentil immediately after the flood waters recede to reduce the fodder crisis.

New Age correspondent in Kurigram said that though flood waters began to recede it would take another week for the marroned villagers to return homes.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre on Saturday said that flood waters may continue to recede from northern and north-eastern districts over the next 24 hours until 9AM Sunday.

But fresh areas in the central districts of Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur and Munshiganj might get inundated during the same period, said the FFWC.

New Age correspondent in Tangail reported that 210 villages in six upazilas of the district had been submerged by floods until Saturday and marooned at least three lakh people.

The affected upazilas are Tangail, Bhuyanpur, Kalihati, Gopalpur, Nagarpur and Mirzapur. Over a thousand houses were damaged in the flood affected upazilas.

Crops on at least 3,036 hectares and grazing grounds have been submerged by floods in Tangail on the Jamuna.

The state minister for disaster management and relief Enamur Rahman visited Tangail on Saturday and assure ‘needed relief supplies’.

New Age correspondent in Shariatpur reported that flood waters started entering the district and already engulfed the low lying areas in four unions in Naria and Jajira upazilas.

New Age correspondent in Sirajganj reported that about two lakh people had been marooned in five upazilas in the district by flood waters.

New areas in the district might go under flood waters any time as the Jamuna is flowing 80 cms above the danger weakening protection embankments at many places.

New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that 4,600 families were marooned by floods in three upazilas in the district.

The FFWC on Saturday said that a total of 14 rivers were flowing above their danger levels at 21 points in 15 districts.

The FFWC recorded country’s highest rainfall of 65 mms at Latu in 24 hours ending at 9 AM on Saturday.

The Met Office predicted light to moderate rainfall at a few places at Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chattogram in 24 hours until 9 AM Sunday.

The Met Office recorded country’s highest rainfall of 26 mms at Dimla, Rangpur in 24 hours ending at 6PM Saturday.

The Indian Met Office in a forecast on Saturday predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall for Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim for four days until Wednesday.

Triggered by heavy rains, floods continued to wreak havoc in Bangladesh for more than two weeks now.

Over 30 lakh people have been marooned in 21 districts and about 60,000 houses were damaged by the gushing flood waters.