Flood ravaged, they wait for rehabilitation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 10, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:28 AM, August 10, 2020

Flood ravaged, they wait for rehabilitation

People whose houses have been damaged by floods are passing their days in extreme hardship amid insufficient government relief and support for their rehabilitation.

Most of them are struggling to earn their livelihood, let alone arrange money to repair their homes.

While government officials claim the flood-hit people have been provided with relief and other assistance, many victims say they did not receive any. 

According to the latest report of National Disaster Response Coordination Centre, the government has so far allocated Tk 4.18 crore, 16,510 tonnes of rice, Tk 2.88 crore for fodder, and Tk 1.40 crore for baby food for people in the flood-affected districts.

Besides, 300 bundles of corrugated iron sheets and Tk 9 lakh have been allocated for rebuilding houses of the victims, the report said, adding that over 54 lakh people under 163 upazilas of 33 districts have been affected by floodwater.

But failing to get any help, many were struggling to survive, reports our correspondents from several districts. 

In Nilphamari, as the Teesta was becoming calm, most of the victims in Dimla upazila returned their homes after spending days on dams, dykes, and educational institutions where they took shelter from flood.

Many of them found their houses damaged partially or completely. They claim they did not get any assistance from the government.

There is no rehabilitation programme from the government for the flood-victims, said villagers in the upazila.

Mesbahur Rahman, project implementation officer of Dimla, said only the river erosion victims would get the government help to rebuild their houses, and there was no programme yet for the other victims to assist them in repairing their houses.

Abul Hosen, 65, of Bhendabari shoal, said the government gave them rice, but there was no financial assistance to rebuild their houses.

SA Hayat, district relief and rehabilitation officer, said they provided Tk 2,000 and dry food to each erosion victim family and that they were planning to give them corrugated iron sheets soon.

In Gaibandha, over 2.52 lakh people have been affected by flood. Thousands lost their houses to river, but the district administration did not rehabilitate any flood victim yet.

Shoma Rani Shah, 30, of Goghat village in Sadar upazila, said, "I had a small shop and a house, but everything went into the Brahmaputra river last week. Now my family members are passing very hard times as we have no earnings. I did not get any help from the government."

Contacted, AKM Idris Ali, district relief and rehabilitation officer, said, "When floodwater recedes completely, we will enlist the affected people to rehabilitate them."

Locals say around 1,000 people have been displaced from the Char areas in Bogura after floodwater washed away their homes.

Mubarak Hossain, 45, of Aucharpara char under Sariakandi upazila, said during the flood, homes of 350 families and croplands were devoured by the Jamuna. But they did not get any help from the government. They were now living under the open sky, he said.

In Sunamganj, about 1,76,712 families have been affected by flood and 1,064 people were still living at shelter centres as their houses are not repaired yet or remain flooded.

But there is apparently no rehabilitation plan for the affected people.

Jahirul Alam, assistant commissioner (in-charge of relief and rehabilitation) of Sunamganj district administration, said, "Most families get relief multiple times, but we cannot start their rehabilitation yet due to shortages of corrugated iron sheets. We wrote to the disaster management and relief ministry seeking 1,000 bundles of tin and money."

[Our correspondents from Nilphamari, Bogura, and Sylhet contributed to this report]


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