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20 April, 2017 12:21:35 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 April, 2017 11:03:08 AM
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Unnatural death of fishes in ‘haors’

Zakir Hossain from Sunamganj
Unnatural death of fishes in ‘haors’
A boy holds a dead catfish in his hands. Fishes at the rich Hakaluki haor have died in large numbers due to a flash flood caused by last month’s incessant rain. Rotten fishes have damaged the quality of the haor and unbearable stench resulting from the rot has now started affecting ducks in the area. Independent Photo

It was a double blow to thousands of farmers living around the vast 'haors' (wetlands) in Sunamganj. They watched in agony a large number of dead fishes floating, even before they could recover from the loss of boro crops after flash floods submerged rice fields almost ready for harvest. For some others, it was time to make money by netting the floating fishes.

Fisheries officials said fish in the ‘haors’ is like second cash crop to the farmers, after the single boro rice they grow in the wetlands. The fishes died as the submerged rotting paddy created ammonia gas, which replaced the dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water.
Too much use of fertiliser and pesticides in the rice fields was another cause of such a massive number of fish deaths, some of the witnesses said.
The officials said dead fishes were seen in Sunamganj Sadar, Jagannathpur, South Sunamganj and Dharmapasha upazilas, all of which provide not only a huge supply of boro rice, but also fish to the local markets and districts around.
Farmers said all the ‘haors’ of Nalua, Maiya, Pingla in Jagannathpur upazila saw dead fishes stuck along the shores since Saturday. The rice fields went under water at these places 22 days ago following rain and water cascading down the hills across the border.
Mostafa Mia, fisheries official of Sadar upazila, said the fishes died due to ammonia gas released by the rotting paddy under water. “We are providing an antedote so that more fishes do not die,” he added.
The district fisheries officer, Shankar Ranjan Das, said it was all due to the deluge which submerged the paddy.
Sukhair Rajapur South Union chairman Amanur Raja Choudhury, said fish deaths were widespread in Dharmapasha upazila. After having lost their paddy, it was more bad news for the farmers, he added.
Resident physician of the Sunamganj Sadar Hospital, Dr Rafiqul Islam, has advised people against using the water of the ‘haor’, polluted by the poison from the rotten paddy as well as the dead fishes.
The rotten water may cause skin diseases and respiratory problems. No one should eat these fishes, the doctor sounded a note of caution.
At a press conference yesterday (Wednesday), leaders of Shusaner Jannyo Nagorik (SUJON) demanded trial of water board officials and contractors for the collapse of the flood barriers as they caused the maximum damage in the district surpassing all previous records. The fragile barriers collapsed because of corruption, they alleged.
The SUJON leaders, including its general secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, demanded rehabilitation of the farmers affected and trial of those responsible for the catastrophe.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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