The government has taken all-out preparations to face the ongoing flash flood as the situation is likely to deteriorate in 12 northern, northeastern and central districts.
As per the Prime Minister Office’s (PMO) directive, deputy commissioners (DCs) have already taken comprehensive initiatives, involving public representatives and officials concerned, to deal with the ongoing flood situation faced in districts due to heavy monsoon rainfall and provide assistance to the flood victims amid the corona virus pandemic, disaster management and relief ministry officials said.
Besides, the government remains alert with overseeing the flood situation round the clock.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Water Resources has set up a control room to monitor and collect information on the flood situation across the country during the monsoon season. Control room mobile number - 01318 234560. The number will be available for public services all the time from 9 am to 8 pm.
The information was given in an office order from the ministry, said public relations officer Asif Ahmed. All the officers in charge of the control room have been asked to coordinate with the National Disaster Monitoring Cell of the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief on overall issues including the flood situation.
In this regard, State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk said, “Our officials are working in coordination with the district administration to deal with the flood situation. The control room has been opened for more intensive monitoring.”
The State Minister further said, “Executive engineers are reporting on the flood situation all the time. Geo bags are ready in case of emergency. The Ministry of Water Resources will be by the side of the people in any natural calamity.”
However, the local administration has also extended all out supports to flood affected people and remains prepared with relief.
In this regard earlier the PMO issued a directive to local administration to get prepared and work hard to protect the affected people and to continue relief activities in coordination with the local public representatives.
Meanwhile, necessary steps are being taken to protect and repair embankments, and assess the loss and damage caused to fisheries and livestock and agriculture sectors.
Besides, several medical teams have been extending health and medicare services to the flood-hit people.
On the other hand, rivers in different areas of the country are flowing above the danger level and that is why thousands of people in 12 northern, northeastern and central districts including Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Thakurgaon, Bogura, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Tangail, Sylhet, Sunmganj and Shariatpur are bearing the brunt of floods due to the onrush of water from the upstream in all three — Brahmaputra, Meghna and Padma– basins for the last one week, according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC).
Apart from flood, sporadic incidents of riverbank erosion have been reported from around 50 points alongside the Dharla, Dudhkumar, Teesta, Brahmaputra, Ghaghot and Jamuna rivers due to stronger river current with recession of floodwaters.
However, there will be heavy rains in the next one or two days. This has led to fears of bigger floods this weekend. Which can last for more than a month. The effect of which can be felt in Dhaka metropolis as well.
Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, Chief Engineer of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center of the Water Development Board, disclosed the information to media on Tuesday.
He said the ongoing floods have been brought under control, but heavy rains are expected in the next one or two days in Assam, Meghalaya and other parts of India. Water level there will again increase the pressure on the main rivers of the country. As a result, long-term and major floods are expected from next Friday. Which can last for more than a month.
Arifuzzaman also said that some areas including Demra and Banasree are in danger of flooding if the water pressure is high as there is no city flood protection dam on the eastern side of Dhaka city. He also said that if the water level of the rivers increases water logging may occur in the city.
He said that the waters of Buriganga, Turag and Shitalakshya rivers around Dhaka have already risen. Floods have already affected Dohar in Dhaka and low-lying areas of Munshiganj. The fear of impending floods is high in the lower reaches of Dhaka and Narayanganj.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has allocated one lakh metric tonnes of VGF rice on the occasion of the upcoming holy Eid-ul-Adha festival. The VGF food assistance will be provided at the upazila and municipality level for flood-affected and other disaster-affected, distressed and destitute individuals and families.
A letter signed by Mohammad Shahjahan, senior assistant secretary (relief-1) of the Relief Program-1 branch of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief said on Tuesday that 492 upazilas and 328 municipalities in 64 districts across the country are under the VGF program on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. For this, rice is allotted at the rate of 10 kg per family as part of the ‘free food assistance’.
Assistance will be given to the families of distressed and extremely poor people. However, priority should be given to the extremely poor who have been affected by the recent floods and other natural calamities.