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River erosion renders 800 families homeless

  • Published at 04:29 pm October 20th, 2019
River erosion
People throw geo bags in the Padma river to prevent river erosion at Shibchar upazila in Madaripur on Sunday, October 20, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Much infrastructure such as upazila health complexes , markets, roads, and school buildings has been washed away because of river erosion in Madaripur Sadar, Kalkini, Rajoir, and Shibchar upazilas

As many as  3000 members of 800 families in four upazilas of Madaripur district  have fallen prey to the river erosion of the Padma, Arial Kha, and Kumar rivers. Locals have been suffering immensely  living under the open sky, having lost all their belongings.

Much infrastructure such as upazila health complexes , markets, roads, and school buildings has been washed away because of river erosion in Madaripur Sadar, Kalkini, Rajoir, and Shibchar upazilas.

Students of eight schools including Kajir Shura Government Primary School, Narikel Bari Govt. Primary School, and Khah Bandarkhola Govt. Primary School, are being deprived of an education day after day.

The areas that fell victim to the erosion are: West Shannashi Char, Boheratala, Dattapara, Shiruil, Nilkhi, Magurakhanda, Kathalbari, Kajirshura, and Bandarkhola of Shibchar upazila, Jajeera, Habiganj, Ukilbari, Mohisher Char, Ghunshi  Shirkhara, Kotbari, and Sreenadi of Sadar upazila, East Alipur, Shahebrampur Launch Terminal, Khasherghat, and South Bashgari of Kalkini upazila, including Nilambradi, Mahendradi, Haridashdi, Gangkandi, Shangkardi, and Kalibari of Rajoir upazila. This erosion crisis is due to a nine kilometre embankment  of the Padma, Arial Kha, and Kumar rivers being breached, according to Water Development Board (WDB) sources in the district.

Geo-sandbags were dumped in three kilometers of the river embankments to minimize the damage caused by erosion.

Locals described to our reporter, the sufferings  they are going through since they became homeless due to the river erosion.

Miraz Sikdar from Bashgari village in Kalkini upazila said: ''We were living hand to mouth cultivating some land. But river erosion devoured these lands completely, leaving us in dire conditions.''

Hossain Madbor from Magurakhanda village of Shibchar upazila said: '' We are now living under the open sky as the Padma river has devoured what we had and we urge the government to arrange shelter soon.''

Partha Pratim, executive engineer of Madaripur Water Development Board said that hundreds of people in four upazilas incurred heavy losses for a second time by losing their homesteads due to river erosion at the end of the rainy season.

''To prevent river erosion, we are dumping geo-bags in thePadma and Arial Kha rivers. Alongside, projects are in the pipeline to protect the river bank in Shibchar, Rajoir, Kalkini, and Madaripur Sadar upazila.''

Md Wahidul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Madaripur, said: Wehave  already distributed cash, dry food, rice, etc among the victims of river erosion and the Water Development Board is dumping geo-bags to prevent further river erosion.'' 

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