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Relief in many flood-ravaged Haor areas inadequate

  • Published at 03:59 pm April 26th, 2017
  • Last updated at 04:24 am April 27th, 2017
Relief in many flood-ravaged Haor areas inadequate
Though the government has already announced emergency monthly supplies in various districts, there have been allegations that the flood-affected people are facing harassment and obstacles in collecting those. The people also said the amount of the relief materials was inadequate compared to the extent of loss caused to their cropland, cattle and houses. Moreover, they have to go to far places on foot to collect the aid. The government on Sunday announced that some 335,000 families of the flood-ravaged Haor region would receive relief. Each family will get 30kg rice and Tk500 as emergency support under a 100-day scheme. Apart from rice and cash, some 171,715 families will get relief materials through the VGF programme and OMS. Meanwhile, considering the situation, Bangladesh Bank has postponed its agriculture credit recovery from the areas and instructed banks to provide new credits for different crops at a concessional interest rate. President Abdul Hamid visited the flood-ravaged Haor areas on April 16. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to visit Sunamganj on April 30. She has already ordered the government officials concerned to speed up relief distribution. On the other hand, the Anti-Corruption Commission has launched inquiry into the allegations of corruption and negligence levelled against Water Development Board officials in embankment repair projects. In Sylhet where 1 million people are directly affected by the flood and 34,530 hectares of cropland destroyed, the district administration Wednesday said that 50,000 people, mostly farmers and fishermen, of 13 upazilas will get rice and money. Primarily, the district administration from its relief fund has allocated 320 tonnes of rice and Tk20.8 lakh as cash. Sunamganj District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Md Mahbubur Rahman said that they had been asked to prepare a list of VGF card holders by Thursday, as supplies to them will start from FRiday. Deputy Commissioner Sheikh Rafiqul Islam said that they would take punitive measures if any anomalies were found in the relief distribution. Harvest of 166,612 hectares of land has been inundated and around 300,000 farmers affected in the recent flash flood, causing them a loss of at least Tk1,700 crore. The people say the government allocation for them is not enough as many of them had to go back home empty-handed. According to the Netrokona DC, Md Mushfiqur Rahman, 365 tonnes of rice and Tk25 lakh have already been distributed in the district, where 421,980 tonnes paddy worth Tk965 crore of 73,070 hectares of land were damaged. The DC also said that 50,000 farmers will get rice through VGF cards. Moreover, 36 dealers started selling rice and flour at Tk15 a kg under the OMS programme. People of the worst affected Khaliajuri Upazila of Netrokona formed a human chain in front of the DC office Wednesday morning protesting inadequate relief. They also criticised the relief minister for not visiting their locality after the flood. Kishoreganj DC Md Aazimuddin Bishwas at a press meet Wednesday said that separate emergency medical teams had been working in different upazilas of the district to ensure proper treatment of the flood-affected people. The quality of water in the area has been examined to check if it is contaminated with harmful chemical. Some 1,38,092 farmers of 10 upazilas under the district were affected by the flood. Paddy worth around Tk900 crore cultivated on 60,000 hectares of land has been submerged. So far, 535 tonnes of rice and Tk28.60 lakh have been distributed among the affected people. Meanwhile, acute crisis of livestock feed surfaced in Habiganj, where Boro paddy was cultivated ion 116,000 hectares of land, but 55,000 hectares got completely inundated. The amount of losses keeps spiralling, according to locals. Moulvibazar saw at least 100,000 people being affected, including 35,000 farmers, according to a government estimate. But, locals claim the figure to be around 50,000. Several social organisations and individuals have already launched campaigns on Facebook to raise funds for the flood-affected people.
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