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Flood victims allege there is little or no aid from government

  • Published at 10:17 pm September 23rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:08 am September 24th, 2017
Flood victims allege there is little or no aid from government
Almost a month after waters from one of the most devastating floods in the history of the country receded, the Department of Disaster Management (DMM) is being critised by the affected people for providing inadequate aid. Abdur Rahim runs a tea stall in Vatina village in Dinajpur sadar upazila. His family lost everything in the floods and he along with his wife and son are now living out of a makeshift tent because their home was destroyed. “I cannot afford to rebuild my house that costs Tk30,000. We got no aid from the government to help us. Our meals are just rice and salt,” he said. Since early August, the devastating floods have severely damaged homes and crops across the country affecting 8,202,025 people in the north and northeastern districts. 150 people lost their lives, according to the DMM. A total of 737,577 houses were entirely or partially destroyed along with 603,609 hectares of cropland. The government had distributed Tk567,792,273 and 177,21 metric tons of rice so far as relief. Across the districts, people have alleged that they have not received any aid or have gotten an insufficient amount of food and monetary compensation. A young farmer, Ibrahim Ali, from Chaitarkhamar village in Kurigram district said the floodwater may have receded but their suffering has only increased as they have not received any support from the government to help rebuild their lives. “When the flood water recedes, farmers like me have to borrow money. I had to borrow Tk30,000 to start cultivating the land again. We have to buy seedlings, fertilisers, pesticides and pay for labour too. “The government gave aid to the ultra poor, but we did not get any. This has left out so many people like us from getting any support,” he said. However, sources at the DDM said that they are providing financial support to the flood victims and their allotment is gradually being increased so that they can reach everyone affected. The Department of Agricultural Extension had also been working closely with the DDM in order to minimise the loss made by farmers by providing seeds, seedlings and fertilisers. Similar scenarios may have been found in other districts up north such as Rangpur, Bogra, Nilphamari. The flood affected people are still living in makeshift tents, grappling with a shortage of food, drinking water and sanitation. Shah Alam Akand, a resident of Hatsherpur village of Sariakandi upazila in Bogra district, said that the little government relief they had received only sustained them for a few days: “We got 2kg puffed rice, 1.5kg sugar, 1 liter oil, a packet of candles and matchbox, which was not enough.” Responding to the allegations of flood victims saying they had received little or no aid, Director General of the DDM Md Reaz Ahmed told the Dhaka Tribune: “Those who have yet to receive governmental support will get the necessary support including bundles of tins and cash money to rebuild their houses.”