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Flood shelters in shambles in a year

  • Published at 02:31 am August 4th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:41 am August 4th, 2016
Flood shelters in shambles in a year
But soon after they watched their homes being swept away by the raging flood water, locals also realised that the promise of safety was as frail as the cracked walls of those shelters. Visiting two shelters named Brahmaputra and Begum Rokeya in Kurigram Sadar upazila, the Dhaka Tribune recently found that only 100 of the 220 rooms were still inhabitable. There were cracks on the walls, while the roofs on top of many rooms had been blown away by the wind. Parts of one shelter had already been washed away by the river as no protection dam was built surrounding that building. Shockingly, both of the shelters had only just been opened a year ago, while the project was supervised by Bangladesh Army. Now, distressed people were living there in inhumane conditions; around 1,200 flood-affected people from the nearby Porar Char, Airmari Char and Khaoralgar Char areas are crammed into the rooms that are still standing. Locals blamed poor construction work for the quick deterioration of the shelters. In 2012, the government initiated the project to build four flood shelters in Jatrapur on 90 acres of land. Jarif Enterprise was awarded the construction job, which they completed in 2015. But the joy that was expressed by the locals during inauguration are long gone now. Anwar, 35, said his family has been living at one of the shelter buildings for almost three weeks now. During this time, he has seen people risking their own lives by staying in rooms that might fall apart any moment. “The shelter saved our life, but its construction was done in such a negligent manner that it was damaged within a very short time,” he said. Many people who had sought shelter here were now repairing the rooms themselves, Anwar said. If the buildings are not repaired, the shelter would be totally uninhabitable next year, added. During the disaster period, each family received 10kg rice from the local chairman and some dry food from administration on one occasion. No NGOs or other organisations has provided relief so far, he said.