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Submerged paddy fields: ‘If the rain continues, we will be devastated’

  • Published at 09:41 pm May 2nd, 2018
Submerged paddy fields: ‘If the rain continues, we will be devastated’
Two hundred out of five hundred hectares of crop fields in the Bishwambhorpur upazila of Sunamganj have become waterlogged due to incessant rainfall. The agricultural department reported that 60% of the fields have been harvested so far in the haor. Farmers are concerned that if the rainfall continues at this pace, the water levels will rise even more. A farmer, Kabir Miah said: “Water in crop fields has risen to knee-level in 10 villages including Lalpur and Radhanghar. If the rain continues, we will be devastated. “We will not be able to harvest the crops and the crops will remain in the fields and be damaged,” he added.
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Agricultural Officer Salah Uddin Tipu said: “The water that has accumulated in the haor will not damage the crops much.” He urged farmers to harvest their crops before more water accumulates. Distraught farmers are trying to hastily harvest ripe paddy and take the crops home. Doulat Miah, along with other farmers, has hired labourers at high rates to harvest crops from water-filled fields. [caption id="attachment_262560" align="aligncenter" width="800"] A farmer and his son are working at a cropland in Bishwambhorpur upazila of Sunamganj on Wednesday Himadri Shekhor Bhodro/Dhaka Tribune [/caption] Farmer Tajuddin said: “Khorchar haor is situated at a lower level than other haors. So the increasing water levels in the haor due to continuous rainfall have damaged the crops in the haor.”

Problematic infrastructure

Jamshed Miah said: “The unplanned construction of a dam in the haor is restricting the rainwater from flowing elsewhere, so the water has accumulated in crop fields instead.” Sadir Ali, another farmer, said: “Installing a sluice gate to the west of the haor would have reduced our sufferings every year. But the government built a dam instead of constructing a sluice gate.”
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The dam was put in place by Bangladesh Water Development Board to protect 36 kilometers of crop fields in the area. However, the continuous rain has caused these lands to be waterlogged despite the dam. Mohinuddin said: “Despite the dam, water has flown into the farmers' lands and if heavy rainfall continues, ripe paddies will soon be submerged and the crops will be lost.”