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The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Surging Madhumati aggravates erosion onslaughts in Faridpur

| Updated: August 08, 2020 10:43:15


A vast tract of land with homesteads and other structures disappeared into the gorge of the eroding Madhumati River in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district — FE photo A vast tract of land with homesteads and other structures disappeared into the gorge of the eroding Madhumati River in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district — FE photo

Erosion by the Madhumati is continuing its onslaughts in a more ferocious way in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district with the river in a full spate in various parts.

During the current monsoon, erosion has taken an alarming turn and houses, crop fields, markets, roads and educational and religious institutions are entering the gorge of the river.

As a result, hundreds of families have become paupers after losing everything including land.

Due to strong current of the Madhumati, at least one hundred houses and various structures in a large area of Zero Point at Dakshin Charnarandia village of Panchuria union have disappeared.

Locals said South Charnarandia village will be lost from the map of the upazila if the river erosion is not checked immediately.

The Water Development Board is throwing sand-filled geo-bags on an emergency basis to prevent erosion.

According to locals and local public representatives, river erosion started in a severe form at South Charnarandia at the beginning of 2016.

Since then, in the last four years, most of the areas of South Charnarandia have been washed away by strong current of the Madhumati.

Many have lost their homesteads as well.

It can be seen that in South Charnarandia Zero Point area, due to severe erosion by the Madhumati river, houses, crop lands and fruit trees have been lost and more than a hundred families along the riverside have become destitute.

The eroding Madhumati River has brought the lives and livelihoods of the people to their knees.

After losing everything, the affected families are in a desperate move to find out a place to live.

Still in search of place for dwelling, the victims are passing time on the banks of the Madhumati unfed or half-fed.

The only mosque in the affected area is also on the verge of extinction.

The Water Development Board is trying to keep the mosque safe by throwing sandbags.

Residents of the riverbank are spending sleepless nights in fear of erosion.

Rabeya Begum, a widow living on the bank of the river, sighed and pointed to the site of the demolition, saying, "I had a house there. Suddenly, on the day of Eid, the river ravaged my well-arranged world. Two houses were taken away by the gluttonous river."

Rebeka Begum with four children is now without land. Their house was destroyed by the river.

She said, "I don't understand what to do with four children now. I have heard from the government that it has helped many people. No one takes our news. We seek the help and cooperation of the government."

A woman named Badli Begum, 60, said it is a waste of money throwing sandbags into the river. It is of no use. It is better to help the poor with this money.

Siraj Mridha of the same area said, "Every year, people suffer due to erosion by this river; But no action is seen."

Ikramuzzaman Mia, another resident of the village, said the Madhumati River was slowly eating away South Charnarandia village. If river erosion continues like this, it will be difficult to save existence of this village in future."

Sultan Mahmud, executive engineer of the Faridpur Water Development Board, said work was underway to prevent erosion by the Madhumati river.

"We are lagging behind because of the coronavirus. However, sandbags (GEO bags) are being dumped temporarily during the current monsoon," he added.

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