This Eid offers no joys to the flood victims of the country’s worst-affected northern districts, who lost to the deluge everything they had — standing crops, shelters and valuables.
‘This time we will just recall the memories of Eid celebrations in the past,’ says 45-year-old share cropper Majedur Rahman, with a ring of sadness in his voice.
Majedur, a dweller of Dogachhi under Biral upazila in Dinajpur, whose house and valuables have been washed away and crop fields damaged by the floods, told New Age that he did not even have adequate food with which to pass Eid-ul-Azha, one of biggest festivals of the Muslims to be celebrated on September 2.
‘My four children are sad and hopeless as I have nothing to buy them anything... We can’t be happy this Eid,’ he added.
The same is for most of the flood-affected people of Dinajpur, where the government estimated over 1.5 lakh families affected by the recent floods.
The floods also claimed lives of 30 people and destroyed crops of 1, 21,170 hectares of lands in the district.
Dinajpur deputy commissioner Mir Khairul Alam, however, claimed that the affected families could also enjoy the Eid as the government as well as different private organisations and individuals were providing food and financial assistance for the flood victims.
He claimed that they had already started rehabilitating the affected farmers with providing seeds and saplings and the displaced families with housing materials and cash.
Khairul said that they would help rebuilding houses of 19,000 worst-affected families.
The flood-affected people of other northern districts are also not thinking about Eid celebration this year as they are still struggling to survive by recovering from the losses from the floods.
During visits to the northern districts to witness the aftermath of the flood, affected farmers were found struggling to replant their damaged crops and desperately looking for cash and kind to survive.
Sixty five-year-old Abdur Rashid, a farmer of Taragonj upazila in Rangpur, said that he was now facing difficulty to collect saplings and replant them on his damaged crop fields.
‘I used to sacrifice cattle head every year but this year I could not buy a cattle head, not even sharing with others,’ he said, apprehending that he would be needing at least two years to recover from the losses.
Marginalised farmer Abdul Matin of Char Bozra under Ulipur upazila in Kurigram said that he had lost everything in the flood.
‘Eid is for those who have money and shelter and who have something to give to their children. But we have nothing,’ he lamented.
In Nilphamari, according to the estimate of district administration, 41,234 families were affected, 23,517 houses destroyed and 56,601 hectares of crop fields damaged by the flood.
But neither the farmers nor other affected families came under the rehabilitation programme as yet.
Md Khaled Rahim, deputy commissioner of Nilphamari, said that they had already sent demand lists for bringing all the affected people of the district under rehabilitation programme.
‘We would start the rehabilitation programme soon after receiving the allocation from the government,’ he added.
The flood, which claimed 141 lives, badly affected the life and livelihood of 3,29,513 people and partially affected the life of 78,93,920 people of 32 north-eastern districts in the country.
Various diseases have broken out in the worst-affected areas with flood water receding amidst scarcity of relief goods.
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