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Bangladesh Published At: 07 Jul 2024, 22:01 p.m.

Flood Situation Worsens in Kurigram as Dudhkumar and Dharla Rivers Overflow

Rising water levels have inundated Kurigram on Thursday, July 7, 2024.

Flood situation may worsen in the next 24 hours

The overall flood situation in Kurigram has deteriorated significantly as the waters of the Dudhkumar and Dharla rivers have crossed the danger level. Rising water levels have caused new areas to flood, trapping millions of people in 49 unions across nine upazilas. The education ministry has suspended classes and examinations in 341 educational institutions due to the flooding.

New areas in Nageshwari, Phulbari, and Sadar upazilas have been inundated, causing severe suffering for thousands of people and domestic animals due to waterlogging. Flood-affected residents are facing extreme hardship due to a lack of clean drinking water and dry food.

The district administration's disaster management wing reported that the flood situation worsened on Sunday, with 601.22 square kilometers of nine upazilas submerged. Official reports indicate that 97,750 people are trapped in the flooded areas, an increase of approximately 13,500 from Saturday to Sunday.

In the Char area, residents are living in boats as their homes are submerged. Those who cannot afford boats have taken shelter inside their homes or on embankments, while destitute families are living in temporary shelters. Many families are unable to cook due to a lack of dry space and fuel.

Livestock and poultry are also suffering from food shortages. With grasslands and hay mounds submerged, families are struggling to feed their animals, resorting to banana leaves or beans to stave off hunger.

In Musa Char of Ulipur’s Begumganj union, water levels remain waist-to-chest high. Most families have relocated in search of safe shelter, while those remaining, like Rabeya Begum’s family, are living in boats. Rabeya described their plight: "We live on the boat, cook on the boat, and eat on the boat. I fear for my children with water all around."

Abdul Malek, chairman of Ghogadah union in Sadar upazila, reported that over 500 families in his union have been affected by Dudhkumar River flooding. Despite government assistance, many families are reluctant to leave their homes, hoping the water will recede soon.

The education ministry reported that 253 primary and 79 secondary schools, 36 madrasas, and six colleges in the district were flooded. Classes have been stopped in 220 primary schools and six colleges, and six-monthly examinations in 79 secondary schools and 36 madrasas have been suspended.

The local administration has continued government relief activities to alleviate food shortages. As of Sunday, 387 tons of rice and 18,980 packets of dry food have been distributed to the affected people, according to the district administration’s disaster management wing.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Saidul Arif said: "The rising waters of the Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers have prolonged the flood situation. Government relief efforts have been increased, focusing on providing clean water, treatment, and sanitation. All necessary measures are being taken to alleviate the suffering of the people."

According to the control room of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), the Brahmaputra, along with the Dudhkumar and Dharla rivers, are flowing above the danger level. The BWDB Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre issued a message on Sunday afternoon stating that the flood situation in the Dharla and Dudhkumar basins may worsen in the next 24 hours. However, the overall flood situation, including the Brahmaputra basin, is expected to slowly improve over the next 72 hours.