Flash flood in haor region

Repair dam, protect crops

Published : 03 Apr 2022 08:58 PM

Haor people who mainly depend on Boro crops are worried about protecting their paddy from flash floods that may visit any time. Flash flood destroy boro crops especially in seven haor districts- Kishoreganj, Netrakona, Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet and Brahmanbaria every year. Farmers of these areas are the worst sufferers as flash flood pushes them into extreme poverty every year. It needs to be mentioned that these areas experience flash floods due to untimely incessant rain and an onrush of water from the upstream every year.

Crops, especially boro paddy, on vast areas are either damaged or washed during between April and May. Since the late spring, panic starts gripping people as they fear flash flood breaching the risky embankment can leave a trail of devastation anytime. A large number of severe cracks have been found in the different portions of the embankment, intensifying the worries.

On Saturday water from upstream has caused Surma and Patlai rivers in Sunamganj to overflow, flooding at least 25 hectares of cropland in Tanguar Haor. A dam at Tanguar Haor under Tahirpur upazila got swept away by water from the Patlai River on Saturday, submerging a huge amount of cropland. Farmers had been trying to protect the dam on their own for the last few days. Therefore, we apprehend flash flood may occur in the low-lying areas of these districts due to onrush of upstream waters coupled with moderate to very heavy downpours anytime.

The government must repair 

vulnerable embankments 

on an emergency basis

The onrush of upstream waters coupled with moderate to very heavy downpours also breach embankments submerging the habitats. As these existing embankments have already lost their capacity they cannot protect people’s lives and properties effectively.

The government must repair vulnerable embankments on an emergency basis. As the country is the worst sufferers of the consequence of climate change, sustainable embankment management appears as the need of the time. The government will also have to enhance participatory embankment construction with collaboration of local authorities.

Earlier, it has taken up four projects to construct sustainable embankments in those areas of the country. But due to lack of appropriate design and construction of embankments the flood-prone districts remains fully unprotected. Therefore, emergency embankments will have to be built in those areas to protect people and their farm lands filled with boro paddy immediately.

Keeping the devastation caused by the flash flood in mind, the government should remain ready with all-out measures to face the catastrophe. We think the government will apply appropriate technology for construction of river embankments and reconstruction and maintenance of those after carrying out thorough surveys and field investigations to find out solutions for each area.