The government has taken a move to distribute rice and flour along with a certain amount of cash among about 2.56 lakh ultra-poor flash flood-affected families in Sylhet division under its 100-day Vulnerable Group Feeding programme.
The relief and disaster management ministry took the programme as part of its support to the farmers whose standing boro crops were damaged massively in the recent flash flood caused by excessive rainfall and onrush of water from India in late March, sources in the district administrations said.
Each of the families, which would be provided VGF cards, will be offered 30kg rice and Tk 500 for a month under the100-day programme until July 31, the sources said.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled for Sunday to visit flash flood-hit haor areas in Sunamganj, said deputy commissioner Sheikh Rafiqul Islam.
Local people said that at least five cattle died on Tuesday in the worst affectdd areas in Sunamganj.
Lala Miah, a farmer of Batirkandi village under Chhatak upazila, said that his three buffalos died Tuesday afternoon after eating damaged standing crops of a piece of land.
Two cows of a farmer of Bhurakhali village under Jagannathpur upazila also died on Tuesday allegedly after eating damaged paddy.
The government officials of the concerned upazilas, however, could not confirm the reason behind the death of domestic animals.
They said that they had collected samples of blood of the dead animals and sent to the laboratory of Sylhet livestock department for tests.
Divisional livestock department deputy director Gias Uddin said told New Age Wednesday evening that the samples were being examined to identify the reason of the deaths.
Sylhet deputy commissioner Rahat Anwar at a press conference on Wednesday said that 52,750 families, including 2,750 families of fishing community, in the district would be provided with the VGF cards.
He said that about 5,000 tonne rice and about Tk 8 crore would be distributed among the selected families under programme.
Mentioning that the flash flood affected 10 lakh people in the district directly and caused subsequent mortalities of fishes and ducks in the haor areas, the deputy commissioner said that the ministry concerned was already requested to expand further the relief programme.
Responding to a question, he said that the government’s other subsidised programmes, including the open market sale and fair price sale of rice and flour, would also continue so that capable flash flood-hit people, not interested to take the VGF, could buy rice and flour for Tk 15 and Tk 17 a kg respectively under the programmes.
Sunamganj additional deputy commissioner (general) Kamruzzaman told New Age on Wednesday that 1.5 lakh ultra-poor flash flood-affected families in the district would be given VGF cards.
Mentioning that the preparation of the list of the vulnerable families from each union under 11 upazilas in the district was underway, Kamruzzaman said that they were hopeful of beginning the distribution of the VGF cards in a day or two.
Moulvibazar additional deputy commissioner Ashrafur Rahman said that they had requested the ministry to include 4,500 fishermen families along with about 25,000 selected families in the VGF facility in the district.
‘We are expecting to get the approval from the ministry in this regard and subsequent grants,’ he added.
Habiganj additional deputy commissioner Emran Hossain said that they were preparing to distribute the VGF cards among 29,000 families in the district under the 100-day programme, following the directive issued by the relief and disaster management ministry.
More than 60 per cent of the half-ripen boro crops planted on 4.57 lakh hectare land in the division was damaged by the flash flood, officials said.
Students of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology from a human chain demanded a sustainable solution to protecting boro paddy, the only annual crop in the haor belt, from early flash flood.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country