The locals said thousands of people in the district are living in constant fear of erosion when they are struggling to cope with the deadly Covid-19 outbreak that challenges their livelihood
An onslaught of erosion by Jamuna and Brahmaputra river, due to onrush of water from upstream and recent heavy rainfall, has now become a cause of concern for hundreds of families living in Gaibandha Sadar, Sundarganj, and Saghata upazilas of the district, amid the deadly Covid-19 outbreak.
According to Water Development Board (BWDB) sources, only in the last ten days, over 100 homes, a vast tract of farmland and many trees have been devoured by the river, leaving many people homeless.
The locals said thousands of people in the district are living in constant fear of erosion when they are struggling to cope with the deadly Covid-19 outbreak that challenges their livelihood.
Visiting the erosion affected areas like Gohat of Gaibandha Sadar, South Sreepur of Sundarganj, Boromtair, Majhipara, and Dakkiullah Adardhagram of Saghata upazilas, this correspondent witnessed a grim scenery of the areas.
The rapacious rivers are devouring arable land, dwelling houses, hundreds of trees, and the field of standing crops in a moment. The affected people have taken shelter at safer places with their belongings.
The people of the riverbank areas are shifting to different places to escape the fury of the rivers. The people of the affected areas have no other alternative to earn their livelihood. They are to starve with their families in this situation amid the Covid-19.
Abdul Bari and Tohirunnesa of Sundarganj upazila, Sonaullah Sheikh Goghat in Gaibandha Sadar, and Aijoddin of Boromtair village in Saghata upazila said the rivers have become more furious this year.
They opine that the erosion occurs at the beginning of monsoon due to onrush of flood water from upstream and heavy rain.
The affected erosion hit people of the district urged the government to take immediate steps to build up flood control embankment to check erosion and demanded rehabilitation of these unfortunate floating people hit by the erosion.
Abdus Salam, chairman of Kamamrjani union council of Sadar upazila, and Sreepur UP chairman Shahidul Islam of Sundarganj upazila said thousands of families in the flood-affected areas the near Brahmaputra became homeless during the last ten days due to the erosion.
They said during the monsoon season the water stream in the river is very high. There are strong vortex current flows.
Shamsul Azad Shital, chairman of Bharatkhali union of Saghata upazila, said about one thousand families, living close to the Jamuna River, are passing their days in anxiety and fear of being devoured by the Padma in the near future.
He also said the erosion along vast areas on the riverbank earlier, washed away scores of homesteads and other establishments in the area.
The situation has been deteriorating due to constant erosion, he added.
Executive Engineer of Gaibandha Water Development Board Moklesur Rahman said they have no plan for this time to protect the flood-affected area Goghat in Gaibandha Sadar and Dakhhin Sreepur of Sundarganj upazilas.
Meanwhile, Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) also approved a project of Tk 401 core to protect the Sreepur area of Sundarganj, he added.
WDB's Superintending Engineer in Rangpur Division Abdus Shahid said he had visited the areas on Monday morning.
Steps to protect the areas will be taken soon, he added.