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Bangladesh Published At: 09 Jul 2024, 20:18 p.m.

Brahmaputra, Dashani erosion devastates Sherpur's Char residents

Brahmaputra River and its tributary, the Dashani River has engulfed hundreds of homes, graveyards, mosques, and markets in the last three days.

Residents demand construction of embankment to solve this crisis

The people of Kamararchar Union in Sherpur are in dire straits due to severe erosion caused by the Brahmaputra River and its tributary, the Dashani River. Over the past three days, the rivers have engulfed hundreds of homes, graveyards, mosques, and markets.

The erosion has resulted in many families losing their land and homes, prompting affected residents to demand the construction of an embankment to address the crisis.

The Brahmaputra River flows through Char No. 4 of Islampur Upazila in Jamalpur and then through Char No. 6 of Kamararchar Union in Sherpur Sadar Upazila. Meanwhile, the Dashani River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, flows through Char No. 7 of Kamararchar and merges with the Brahmaputra near Char No. 6 Barabari. The intense currents at the confluence of these two rivers have exacerbated the erosion.

In the past three days, the Brahmaputra and Dashani Rivers have swallowed farmers' croplands, homes, and religious institutions. Along with the erosion, the floodwaters are also rising, submerging crops and disrupting the livelihoods of the char people, who primarily depend on vegetable farming.

Communication between Kamararchar Bazaar and Char No. 6 and 7 has been completely cut off, forcing people to travel by boat. Submerged electricity poles pose a severe risk of accidents.

Selina Begum, a resident of Char No. 6, lamented, "The river has swallowed everything we had. We had three acres of land, but now there's only water. In the past six years, our home has been swallowed by the river thrice. Now, we live in someone else's house, which the river is also taking away."

Another housewife, Majeda Begum, said they have not received government assistance since the erosion and flooding began, leaving them struggling to have three meals a day.

Habibur Rahman, chairman of the Kamararchar Union Parishad, stated that both river erosion and floodwaters are increasing daily. Without constructing an embankment, Char No. 6 and 7 will disappear into the river within a few years.

The areas affected by the Brahmaputra and Dashani Rivers erosion have been inspected by Member of Parliament (MP) and General Secretary of the District Awami League, Md Sanuwar Hossan Sanu. He expressed sympathy to the affected people and provided financial assistance, assuring that efforts would be made to construct an embankment.

Sherpur Water Development Board Executive Engineer Nakibuzzaman Khan stated, "The erosion of the Brahmaputra cannot be stopped without constructing a permanent embankment. We are undertaking temporary and emergency measures to ensure the safety of the people. A feasibility study for an embankment has also been initiated."

MP Sanuwar Hossan Sanu added, "The people of the Char area are in great distress. We will approach the prime minister and the minister of Water Resources for the rapid construction of an embankment. We are with them. We hope to fulfil the long-standing demand of the people in this area."

This urgent situation calls for immediate action to prevent further loss of property and livelihood in Kamararchar Union.