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Sylhet flood plight

Published : Sunday, 26 June, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 644
Junaed Khan

Sylhet flood plight

Sylhet flood plight

The horrendous flood is keeping several districts of Sylhet division including Sylhet-Sunamganj afloat.In 22 years,Sylhet residents didn't see such floods. Some 25 lakh people of the district are affected by the flood in Sunamganj. Entering the flood water in Sunamganj the city, port and village people have fallen at the worst suffering. The flood victims lost their livelihood.

Over 300 medical teams are working to treat the flood victims while 1307 metric tonnes of foodstuffs alongside 24,000 packets of dry food and Taka 2.45 crore cash were distributed.

On the other hand, 74,000 hectares of land went under water while 40,000 ponds and hatcheries are damaged due to flood water which incurred a loss of estimated Tk 142crore.

The government has allocated Taka 22.5 million cash, 400 metric tons of rice and 41,000 packets of dry and other foods as immediate humanitarian aid to deputy commissioners of flood-hit districts between 15 and 18 June, said a press release on Saturday.

This time Sylhet is in dire state due to four reasons.  These are: river navigability crisis, unplanned construction of dams and sluicegates in Haor, filling of Haor beel lakes, indiscriminate cutting of hills.

That is why the solution is to dig up the two main rivers of Sylhet- Surma andKushiyara and other rivers.

The most urgent is the excavation of the KalniRiver.  Because the water of huge area of Sylhet goes only through this river.

Surma is the longest river in the country with a length of about 249 km.  It enters Bangladesh from Barak river of India through Zakiganj border of Sylhet and flows through Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrokona and Kishoreganj and joins Meghna.  This river is waterless for most of the year.

On the other hand, the river overflowed due to low rainfall.  In the rains, the river water overflows and submerges the crops of the haor.

The mountain slopes that are created due to rainfall in Meghalaya move to Sylhet. The rivers have almost filled up with the accumulation of sand, soil and silt on the slopes.  As a result, the rivers have gradually shrunk and filled up.  

In addition, the flow of the river has been further narrowed due to the construction of sluice gates and infrastructure everywhere.  That is why this flood is so terrible.  

Statistics from the last 50 years show that there have been seven major floods in Bangladesh by the year 2000.  Of these, the floods of 1986 and 1998 were identified as catastrophic.  

More than 40 per cent of the country was flooded in 1986.  More than 80 percent of the area was flooded in 1998.  The main causes of floods that year were heavy rainfall in and out of the country in 1986, shifting of glaciers and glaciers in the Himalayas, simultaneous rise of water in major rivers, slow ocean currents and sudden rise in sea level.

Generally, heavy rains inside and outside Bangladesh are seen as the main cause of floods.  Experts say that the increase in global warming, as well as the adverse effects of climate change, is causing more flooding.
Professor Prashant Chandra Mahlanbish was the first to prepare a detailed report on the floods in the then Bengal region from 180 to 1922.  

According to the report, moderate floods occur in the region once every two years on average and severe floods in six to seven years on average.  Repeated floods from 18 to 1830 changed the old course of the Brahmaputra.  

A 'flood committee' was formed in 1922 after the catastrophic floods in the northern part of Bangladesh.  In addition, a report was published in 1926 on the many floods that occurred in North Bengal from 180 to 1922.  According to the analysis of the data obtained, the tendency of major floods occur once in every seven years and catastrophic floods once in 33-50 years in this town.

Climate scientists fear that if the sea level rises by one meter by 2100, there is a risk of flooding 3 million hectares of land in Bangladesh.  As a result, low lying areas will be affected by severe floods.  

By measuring the coastal waters of Sandwip, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Teknaf, the researchers said that the coastal waters of Bangladesh are increasing by 14 mm per year.  NASA has warned that China and Bangladesh will be in grave danger due to rising sea level.  

If the surface temperature of Bangladesh is rising; Scientists then estimate that the average height of the Bay of Bengal will increase by about 30 cm by 2050.  About 14 percent of the country's land may be submerged.

In recent years, Bangladesh has experienced higher-than-normal temperatures and heavy rainfall, and increasing tidal surges.  With a little rain, the main cities of the country are submerged, which has turned into waterlogging.  If this continues, floods in Bangladesh could turn into permanent waterlogging.  It will consume about half of the country's territory.

Flood management is an integral part of overall water resources management.  So regional cooperation will help create a conducive environment for much-needed joint ventures to ensure the sustainable utilization of the water ecosystem.

A flood is a relatively high body of water that flows across a natural or artificial bank of a river.  When water crosses the shore and floods the surrounding plains, it usually causes misery to the people.  Since floodplains are desirable to human beings and conducive to agriculture, it is important to note that flood control and its damage cannot be exceeded.

The government will have to take adequate steps to deal with the floods. Besides, various non-governmental organizations will also have to come forward.  But the important thing is to predict the flood.
The writer is a student, Department of History, University of Chittagong

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