Aftermath of Cyclone Yaas: 20 thousand people in 14 villages still waterlogged
Last time they left home was after Cyclone Amphan struck the coastal districts on May 20 last year.
After staying at flood shelters or someone else's house, they returned home only several months before another cyclonic storm, Yaas, ravaged the region on May 26 this year.
It has been almost two months since then, but about 20 thousand inhabitants of Assasuni upazila in Satkhira are still marooned by saline water.
Monsoon has arrived by this time and the sufferings they have been facing are unimaginable.
Nearly 20 thousand people in 14 villages under Protapnagar union have been suffering the most as the cyclone caused damage to embankments of the Kholpetua and Kapotakkha rivers in Protapnagar, Kurikawnia, Dighalarait, Harishkhali and Bonnotola areas.
Although the authorities repaired the damage in most areas, saline water in still inundating Protapnagar union through the unrepaired breaches in Harishkhali and Bonnotola areas.
During a recent visit to the area, about 60 kilometres away from Satkhira town, the villages were found to be submerged in knee to waist-deep saline water. The villagers were seen using makeshift rafts or boats for day-to-day activities.
The villagers said they had been travelling to faraway places for potable water and many of them have been contracting various waterborne diseases.
"Our houses have been under water for around two months. We don't have any earnings, as there's no work. Having even one meal a day has been extremely difficult," said Romesa Khatun of Dighalarait village.
Ohidul Islam, a resident of Sreepur village, said, "It isn't possible to live here. Many have already moved out to their relative's houses in nearby areas."
"I had a shrimp enclosure on around 20 bighas of land. It was flooded by Cyclone Amphan last year. Later I got a loan and restarted my business. But Yaas has damaged it again," said Mahmood Hasan, from the same area.
All the villagers, especially women, children and the elderly are facing immense sufferings as their toilets are submerged.
Nasima Khatun, a resident of Protapnagar village, said, "We are facing a lot of challenge to save our livestock. With our house submerged, we don't even have enough space for ourselves. How can we accommodate the livestock?"
Contacted, Protapnagar Union Parishad Chairman Zakir Hossain said, "People in this area have been enduring endless sufferings. Whenever a natural disaster hits this region, our people become waterlogged. We want the government to take effective steps to end our sufferings."
Assasuni Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nazmul Islam Khan said the embankments were damaged at 14 points and most of those have already been repaired.
The waterlogging in Protapnagar union is being caused through four breaches, which are yet to be plugged.
Contacted, Rashedur Islam, executive engineer of Water Development Board in Satkhira, said they already took steps in this regard and the remaining breaches in the embankments would be repaired shortly.