Kurigram flood victims turn to roads for shelters

Mahamudul Hasan and KM Golam Rabbani . Kurigram | Published: 01:00, Aug 17,2017 | Updated: 01:12, Aug 17,2017


- file photo

The roads that have survived the onslaught of flood water have become shelters for people, displaced from their homesteads along with their livestock, who are facing an acute shortage of food and drinking water.
This is what was found at most of the villages of Pachgachhi union under Kurigram Sadar on Wednesday.
Flood water inundated villages after villages, forced the villagers to leave their homesteads and devastated large swathes of farmland.
The affected people desperately need food, shelter, medicine and clean water as the relief provided by the government was not sufficient.
More than 5,000 people along with their livestock have found shelter on a two-kilometre road stretch connected to Pachgachi union parishad office from Shulkur Bazaar.
Most of them have complained that they have been suffering from food and fodder crises besides an acute shortage of drinking water and toilet facilities for last six days but none of the government came to see their sufferings.
Talking to New Age, middle-aged day labourer Yasin
Mia said that water entered into his house last Friday forcing him to leave along with six family members and take shelter on the road.
‘We are stuck here for the last six days. We could not bring here anything except two cows. There is no food to eat. We are waiting for government relief,’ he said.
Yasin said that they were also suffering from drinking water as most of the tube-wells of the area were under water.
‘We are collecting drinking water from the house of one Awal Master which is located around one kilometre away from the makeshift shelter,’ he said.
Yasin, who has made a makeshift tent using polyethylene on the road, also said that he was also facing fodder crisis to feed his two cows.
Like Yasin, Shahed Ali, Rowshan Ali, Azgar Mia, Chhobiron Begum and Morjina Khatun have taken shelter on the road along with others from nearby villages.
They claimed that none of the government or private organisations came to them with relief materials.
Chhobiron Begum was found cooking some rice with potato to feed her three children.
‘I have collected the rice from one of my relatives only for lunch but I have nothing to cook for the night and I do not know how the days ahead will be,’ she said urging the government to save them.
Three-year-old boy Nahid was found crying as his mother was trying to feed him rice and mashed potato.
When asked the reason, his mother Nazma Akter said that Nahid would not eat rice with mashed potato. ‘But I have no other food to feed him,’ she lamented.
The situation of other areas in the Sadar upazila and eight other upazilas of the district was reported to be grimmer.
Communication with most of the flood affected villages has been snapped as water has been flowing over many roads while many have been washed away.
Heavy rain in August 8-13 and unrelenting flow of upstream water wreaked havoc in the district along with other northern districts.
On Wednesday, flood situation has remained almost unchanged in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat even though rain has stopped because of the flow of water from upstream.
Flood water has, however, started receding in other districts.
Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan, deputy commissioner of Kurigram, told New Age that they were giving priority to the affected people who lost everything in the flood.
‘It is not possible to provide relief materials to all the flood victims at a time,’ he said when asked about the flood victims on Pachgachhi road.
Ferdous said that they were arranging makeshift toilets and drinking water for the flood victims.
According to the Kurigram district relief and rehabilitation officer Md Enamul Hoque, 4.54 lakh people of the district were badly affected by the flood and of them around two lakh had moved to safe shelters.
He said that they had already distributed 51.38 tonnes of rice but could not cover all the flood victims.
‘We have 50 tonnes of rice in stock for distribution among the flood victims,’ he added. 

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