Food crisis hits flooded Kurigram
More than 100,000 people are stranded in the northern district. The water levels in the Brahmaputra and Dharala rivers have continued to swell, sweeping away houses in its wake.
Rahila Begum from Hatia village in Ulipur Upazila said, “The whole day has gone by and I’m yet to eat anything. My grandchildren began crying in the morning. There was a handful of flour.
I made some Chitai [pancakes] with it and that’s all until the evening. My daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren all live here.”
“My son-in-law Ershadul has gone out in search of work. If he brings something back, we’ll be able to eat something, or else we’ll have to go hungry.
For the last few days, we had food once a day cooking what’s left. Who knew a flood would sweep in suddenly? I couldn’t save anything.”
As many as 30 families in the village are going through the same crisis.
The flood-affected people in other areas are not faring any better. Their homes are roiled by knee-deep water.
Some sought refuge on a dam but food for themselves and their livestock is hard to come by. Many domestic animals have washed away in the floods.
The rising waters in the rivers are worsening the flooding in the lowlands and inflicting misery on the low-income people.
Flood Control Room spokesman Abdul Hai Sarker said lowlands in 284 villages in 49 unions of the district have been flooded, stranding 27,197 people in the water. As many as 108,788 people make up these families.
Authorities have suspended classes at 110 government primary schools, 23 secondary schools, seven madrasas and a college. An official said the flood inundated 33880.61 acres of farmlands.
A fisheries official of the district, Kalipada Roy said the rising water in the rivers flooded 1,257 granaries belonging to 1,163 farmers. The losses are estimated to be more than Tk 1.78 billion.
All this is compounded by fears of erosion.
“I couldn’t pray after Juhr prayers as the river claimed the mosque,” said Sakmal Hossain from Bamandanga of Nageshwari Upazila.
Strong currents also ripped away a prayer field while several other houses are staring at the crashing waves approaching.
Kurigram Water Development Board Executive Engineer Abdullah Al Mamun fears that things may get worse.
The rising waters in the Brahmaputra and Dharala rivers are inundating new villages. Floodwater entered at least 20 more villages near the banks of Dharala.
Kurigram Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Rezaul Karim said 338 tonnes of rice, Tk 1.65 million cash and 1,000 packets of dry food have been distributed in the flood-affected areas.
District Civil Surgeon Md Manjur A Morshed said they formed a team of 85 members led by a medical officer, along with nine monitoring teams for the nine Upazilas.
They are supplying water purifying tablets, oral saline, cholera saline and other essential medicines to the flood-affected people.
Monsoon downpours triggered the catastrophic flooding, leaving millions of people stranded amid fast-rising waters and swollen rivers.
Bangladesh’s northeast, including Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrokona, has been reeling from devastating floods since late last week. Floods later spread to the northern districts, such as Kurigram and Gaibandha. On Monday, Feni and Cumilla in the southeast were affected by floods.