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17 September, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Preventing death from lightning

Three lakh palm seeds planted in Abhaynagar

Staff Reporter

An initiative taken by the Abhaynagar upazila administration in Jessore, and spearheaded by its Asst Commissioner (Land) Mondip Gharai, has seen the successful planting of over 3 lakh palm seeds in the upazila in a day. Abhaynagar Upazila Nirbahi Officer MM Mahmudur Rahman inaugurated the programme yesterday morning. The organisers said they took up the initiative responding to the call of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to plant palm trees across the country to reduce deaths from lighting strikes. It will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs too, they said. Several hundred people die every year from lightning strikes across the country and experts say climate change and loss of tall trees like palms have exacerbated the problem.

When asked about the initiative, Mondip Gharai said after setting an initial target to plant 2.5 lakh palm seeds in the upazila, he made a call through a facebook post on Sep 7 urging people in the area to join the programme and make it a success. “The response was overwhelming as people from all walks of life began collecting palm seeds,” he said.

Once the campaign was also taken to schools, children in the area took part with great enthusiasm and school children alone collected 1 lakh 70 thousand seeds in just seven days, he said.

“Govt officials, farmers, businessmen of people of various other professions joined hands, helping us exceed our target of planting 2.5 lakh seeds. We have planted a total of 3,21,498 palm seeds today (Saturday) and one lakh seed have been distributed among the people for planting in their own land. The seeds have been planted on roadsides, schools, unused lands and edges of croplands,” he added.

May has the highest number of lightning-strike deaths in a year in Bangladesh and majority of the victims are rural farmers. Last year, authorities declared a natural disaster when the official toll topped 200 deaths, with Sixty-five people killed by lightning strikes in just four days, as the country endures its annual severe storm season.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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.

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