Worries over embankment reconstruction delay
Haor Bachao, Sunamganj Bachao Andolon organised human chains, with the locals, in 10 upazilas of Sunamganj district demanding preventive steps to protect Boro harvest of the haor region. According to the revised Kajer Binimoye Taka (Kabita) Policy of 2017 of Water Development Board (WDB), all works related to reconstructing embankments was scheduled to start on December 15, 2018. And the tentative day of finishing of the work is 28 February. The reason of delay is supposed to be the 11th parliament elections. Couple of weeks had elapsed, and yet the works related to reconstructing of embankments have not commenced.
Administration expects the work to be end in due time but the locals and right activists are worried and suspicious over the quality of the work. The locals fear and want to avoid a repetition of the recent disaster in March, 2017 - when an unseasonable flash flood was triggered by heavy rainfall - breaching a large part of embankments while resulting in huge loss of assets and crops in the region.
It destroyed almost ready for harvesting Boro rice in more than 200,000 hectors of land. Six districts in the north-east region suffered from the flood. The flood halted the regular life of the people interrupting education, agricultural production, food security, water, sanitation, health and economic life. Around 14 per cent of the total rice production in Bangladesh is produced in Haor region and the amount is increasing. The wellbeing of the region is vital to ensure our food security.
The haor region is famous for fisheries and paddy harvesting. Millions of people's bread and butter depend on the conditions of the haors. Moreover, the ecosystem and natural balance of environment also depends on the normal water flow.
The sluggish activities of the authorities to protect such a vital resource are unfortunate. March is less than couple of months away, if another flash flood occurs there will be nothing to stop the catastrophe in the region. All embankments need time to be strong enough to protect farms from flash flood, but if the work is finished in a hurry, then it will be of poor quality. So authorities should ward off all the barriers and take proper action in time.