Unexpected character encountered while parsing value: <. Path '', line 0, position 0.
13 years on, coastal B'desh still awaits stone dams to escape tidal surge
Dhaka, May 26 - Even after 13 years, people of Bangladesh's coastal region are still awaiting construction of stone dams to escape the tidal surge following a cyclonic storm.
As many as three million people from Chormontaj, in the coastal area, have alleged that despite several appeals to the authorities, the Water Development Board (WDB) had always turned a deaf ear to their pleas.
As Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify further into a 'very severe cyclonic storm', experts opined that it may exacerbate the situation due to the full moon and lunar eclipse on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the cyclone and super moon caused 5 to 6 feet high tidal waves on the Patuakhali coast of Bangladesh. It flooded the stretch from Barisal to Chittagong.
A warning has been issued as more than 5 million people across 14 districts are still trapped in the deluge. Hatia, another island of Chittagong, was also inundated.
Natural calamities have been devastating the lives of nearly three million people in the coastal areas of Chormontaj, Khaleq Sikder ,60, a farmer, Rafiq Mollah,50, a fisherman and Mohammad Bashir 32, another farmer told IANS.
Ward numbers 7,8 and 9 of Chormontaj island of Rangabali upazila of Patuakhali district of Bangladesh, the coastal area surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, was severely affected by Yaas.
Experts had earlier warned that around 20 per cent-30 per cent people would be injured in Bangladesh, within a year after the devastation by cyclone Amphan.
An investigation by IANS revealed that there was no official on the spot to lend support to those affected by cyclone Yaas and the subsequent tidal surge. Besides, the cyclone centres were also closed.
Md Mohsin, Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, refuted the IANS claim and said that at least two thousand volunteers are busy in protecting the people of Chormontaj.
Earlier, Enamur Rahman, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief, had claimed that 150 cyclone centres are being prepared for the cyclone-hit people.
About 3 million people in this area are being severely affected by almost all kinds of natural disasters, but there are no volunteers, government and private officials to help them. Borrobaishdia, Andarchor and two other islands were also inundated but there was no warning message or alert from the authorities.
People in Chormontaj have been pleading, after Cyclone Sidr hit the coastal area in 2007, for building stone dams as protection from the tidal surges during the cyclones.
The mud dams scarred by previous storms are too weak to survive another tidal surge.
However, after 2007 no one from WDB or the government officials visited Chormontaj to protect the vulnerable people.
All the paddy lands are flooded by the sea water, the vulnerable people of Chormontaj are waiting from Tuesday morning for shelter.
Earlier on Tuesday Deputy Commissioner Matiul told IANS that he came to know from Mashfaqur Rahman, the Upajila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Chormontaj, that they're using a speedboat to monitor the situation.
Following that Rahman, the UNO told this news agency that 100 people are already in the cyclone centre of ward 8 of Chormontaj.
Later, one Delwar Hossain, claiming to be the former Chairman and local President of the Awami league, asked for the identity and whereabouts of the IANS correspondent, asking not to publish any "wrong information".
When questioned about the number of volunteers, he replied, "I don't know the number, but volunteers are in each ward."
Several wards of Chormontaj Union were inundated and have been washed away, due to the breaking of the embankment due to rising sea level and rising air pressure, leaving hundreds of families homeless. Cropland has been submerged.
High winds and floods also caused damage to housing, roads and other infrastructure. Electricity and communications were knocked out, and roads and waterways became impassable. Drinking water was contaminated by debris and many sources were inundated with saline water from tidal surges, the sanitation infrastructure of 3 wards of Chormontaj has been destroyed.
But the district authorities denied the real scenario, claiming to send relief, if needed.
Monsoon floods had previously caused extensive agricultural production losses and destruction of physical assets of Bangladesh, totalling nearly 1.1 billion dollars.
Please Share this article with your friends.
Related & Matched:
More from:International News