POST TIME: 22 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Ring embankment promises to end flood threat for farmers

Ring embankment promises to end flood threat for farmers

The people of 12 villages under Kalapara upazila in Patuakhali district are now secure against floods, thanks to a newly built ring embankment.

 The protective dyke on the Andharmanik riverbank in Nizampur village had been damaged by the devasting cyclonic storms Sidr, Aila and Mahasen.

  The villages that will now get protection are Nizampur, Najibpur, Bipinpur, Sudhirpur, Komorpur, Purana Mahipur, Yusufpur, Manoharpur, Latifpur, Moazzempur and Nij Shibbaria.

 The newly erected embankment will prevent tidal waters from entering cultivable land, homesteads, fish ‘ghers’, ponds and vegetable gardens, doing away with a seasonal threat that dogged the lives of the farmers.

 Locals said about five kilometres of the embankment at Nizampur had been destroyed by the super cyclone Sidr in 2007. It had been repaired several times on an emergency basis but did not last long because of the alleged use of bad construction material by corrupt officials and contractors of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

The embankment had been repeatedly damaged by subsquent storms such as Aila, Mahasen and Fani, leaving villagers vulnerable to floods during the rainy season.

 Once the tidal waters of overflowing rivers entered the fields through the breached embankment, it remained stagnant in the low-lying areas, though the river receded. Cultivable land remained submerged, making agricultural work difficult.

 In the rainy season, students were unable to go to school because of pools of standing water and normal live in these villages were badly hampered.

 But the government stepped in determinedly to construct ring embankments in the damaged sections. The work began last year and ended this year. The river sidewalks have been restored, too.

 Farmer Monirul of Puran Mahipur village said he had spent Tk 50,000 last year and planted Aman paddy on 15 bighas. But he got only 17 maunds of rice, when he usually got 300 maunds by cultivating that land.

 Farmer Ferdous of Nizampur village said that they had to prepare seed beds in another villages because of the water logging. The problem will not be there anymore, he hoped, now that the broken dam had been repaired.

 Monirul Islam, an inhabitant of Nizampur village, said, the land fertility had increased and farmers of the 12 villages were looking forward to a good Aman harvest. They also hope to recover the losses they had suffered in the past through better yields in the coming days.

 Nurjahan Begum said that her house had been damaged by the tidal waters. She hoped that would not happen again because of the construction of the ring dam. So she has mustered the courage to build a new house. This year, she is also rearing fish in the pond.

 Md. Sobahan, UP member of Najibpur village of Mohipur UP, said that many people had left the village and migrated to the city for a livelihood because their village was under water in the rainy season. Those people are now coming back after learning of the ring embankment.