The devastating floods in Dinajpur adversely affected farmers’ life and livelihood throughout the northern district.
The unprecedented flooding together with heavy rains from August 9 to 13 submerged most of the rice fields in all the 13 upazilas of the district and killed at least 30 people.
Biral was the worst affected upazila.
The standing rice crop on both the banks of the Atrai River had been damaged by the floods, New Age found during visits after the waters receded.
The picture was the same elsewhere in the district.
Rice being the main source of earning for the farmers in Dinajpur, now the nation’s granary, the unexpected losses caused by unprecedented flooding would be difficult to recover from, said affected people.
Farmers said that they badly needed seeds and saplings to raise a fresh rice crop.
In Dogachhi in Biral upazila, Tajul Islam told New Age that his one month old rice crop on three bighas had been fully destroyed by flood.
He said that being fully dependent on rice cultivation he invested all his saving on raising the crop now it would be quite difficult to recover from the losses he suffered.
Tajul Islam said that the
government should supply rice seeds or the saplings to farmers in the area to help them raise a fresh crop.
He said that like him the other farmers in the area needed the seeds or the saplings for sheer survival.
In the same village, Mobarak Hossain was taking rice saplings on a rickshaw van to replace his crop that had been fully destroyed.
His 15-bigha rice crop, he said, had been fully destroyed.
He said that the saplings he bought from a neighbouring upazila was barely enough to raise a fresh one-bigha rice crop, which would be far from what his eight-member family needed for sustenance.
Mobarak said that the family would not even get enough hay to feed its cattle.
Any recovery would be difficult for the family, just like the other families in the area, he said, unless the government lent its helping hand to replace their crops
DAE deputy director in Dinajpur Golam Mostafa said that rice saplings and 1,100 kg of seeds would be provided to 900 affected farmers in the district on August 27 free of costs.
He said that the affected farmers would make a recovery with government support and their own ingenuity.
The flood inundated areas in Dinajpur which never went under water before causing unprecedented losses to standing rice and other crops.
Farmers said that there was nothing for the farmers to reap and take home in village after village.
West Baluadanga, a locality of low-income people in Dinajpur Sadar upazila, had been fully ravaged by flood, found New Age.
Rickshaw puller Sheikh Mohammad said that the inhabitants of the area had to take shelter elsewhere leaving their belongings as their homes had gone seven to ten feet under water.
‘Our belongings were washed out or destroyed by the flood waters we found on return to the area nine days later on August 19,’ he said.
The floods also extensively damaged dwellings, roads and the railway tracks in the Dinajpur district, inundating areas for the 1st time in living memory, admitted Bangladesh Railway officials.
BR could not yet restore its service between Dinajpur and the rest of the country including the capital, which remained snapped since August 13.
New Age found that the railway tracks had been washed away near the Kanchan Junction and Chirirbandar.
BR official Abdul Hanif said that efforts were on to restore railway communication between Dinajpur and the capital in next two days.
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