Flash flood likely in northeast region

Boro harvest may be affected in haor areas

Published : 26 Apr 2020 09:57 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 05:18 PM

Harvest of Boro paddy has begun in many districts, including Sylhet, Sunamganj and Netrakona, amid the crisis moment following coronavirus spread in the country.  Alongside the labour crisis, the Boro farmers of haor region of the districts are also worried about timely harvest as the authorities concerned forecasted heavy rains causing flash flood in parts of northeast region in the country. 

Some parts of north-eastern haor region are already experiencing rainfall. Against this backdrop, farmers in the haor region of greater Sylhet may have to count losses due to damages by flash flood. Many farmers are reaping their paddy from haor apprehending to plunge the standing paddy in case of further rainfall at the upstream. 

Experts said that the government should take immediate measures for a safe harvest of the paddy in the districts. Farmers called upon the government to provide harvesting machines so that they could harvest their crops in time.

According to Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), heavy rainfall in the country and onrush of water from the upstream across  the border in India may trigger flash flood in Sylhet region. The flooding may affect the standing crops in the region.

An FFWC bulletin on Sunday said that major rivers in north-eastern region would continue to swell. Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of FFWC, said that they are forecasting flash floods in Sylhet region by the end of this week. He said the floods may harm the paddy in vast haor areas, he added. 

An official of Bangladesh Water Development Board (DWDB) said that adequate rainfall in country may increase river water and create a flash flood in Sylhet and Sunamganj area. In the upcoming days, some rivers might continue to flow above danger level throughout the last week of the month and into the first few days of the next month (May). The rivers likely to overflow are Kalni, Khowai, Kushiyara, Titas, Surma, Dhalai, Jadukata, Manu, Sarogowain, Jhalukhali and Sutang.

Prof AKM Saiful Islam of the Institute of Water and Flood Management under the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology said that     heavy rain in Indian upstream is particularly a matter of headache for Bangladesh at this time of the year for Boro production. All the tributaries in Meghna Basin may swell. So special measures should be taken early to reduce the damage of crops, he added.

Altaf Hossain, a famer of Jamalganj upazila in Sunamganj, said, “If the flash flood happens and damages the embankment, we will be in deep trouble. He called upon the government to take proper care of the protection embankment.

Some farmers at Kharchar Haor in Sunamganj said that they are worried as the rainfall of last several days left the standing paddy at the haor waterlogged. The Kharchar Haor is situated in Sunamganj Sadar upazila and Biswambharpur upazila in Sylhet. 

Ershad Mia, a farmer of haor area, said that some paddy of Kharchar haor have been inundated and farmers were reaping those. But, some farmers are also reaping even not-fully ripened paddy fearing an early flood. Most of the paddy of low-lying hoar areas have already been reaped, he  added. 

Half of Boro paddy in the haor region will be harvested by April. The other half is not ready to harvest until May. The vast lowlands in Sylhet region are a major source of rice for the entire country, and the damages could affect the national supply, said experts.