The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal’s rampage

Cyclone Rimal raged on the coast for a long time, although it did not take a terrible form in the beginning. In 2009, Ayala went on a rampage for about 30 hours. Rimal had an impact there for about 40 hours, causing more damage to the coastal population than Aila or Amphan. Damage is especially high in fish enclosures and agricultural land. People in the southern part of the country may have to endure the wounds of Rimal for a long time.

In a press conference at the secretariat on May 27, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibbur Rahman said that 3.758 thousand people in the coastal area were affected by Cyclone Rimal. 35 thousand houses were completely destroyed, and about 1 lakh 15 thousand houses were partially damaged. Later, the state minister said that 18 people died. Cyclone Rimal has caused damage equivalent to Tk 6,880 crore in 20 districts.

Damage to agriculture
According to a preliminary report of the overall agricultural damage of the Agriculture Department, due to the impact of Cyclone Rimal, only in the coastal Barisal region, the crop has been damaged to the tune of 508 crore 97 lakh 72 thousand rupees. About one lakh 73 thousand 491 farmers are affected by this. Cyclone Rimal has primarily affected agriculture in 48 districts. Six districts of coastal Barisal region and four districts of Khulna region, Noakhali, Laxmipur and Cox’s Bazar of Chittagong region have been affected at a significant rate.

It is not possible to compensate the people only with relief. We have been informing these things centrally. Let’s see how the government is considering. We think a permanent dam would be a solution. This will reduce the damage to the agricultural economy. – Khulna Deputy Commissioner Khandkar Yasir Arefin

Geographically, Bangladesh is prone to disasters and has to deal with cyclones that occur every year. So that the most affected are the coastal people of the southern part of the country. In addition to loss of life in these disasters, they are suffering severe economic losses, which take years to recover. Even after blocking the Sundarbans as a slope, the damage is not less.

The recent Cyclone Rimal has caused a lot of inundation and crop damage. There is a risk of long-term damage. Earlier, after cyclones like Sidor, Aila, Amphan, the coastal areas suffered from severe fresh water shortage, various water borne diseases, salinity effect on agricultural land, waterlogging for a long time. These problems are also appearing later on Rimal. Along with the government, private development organizations come forward to solve these crises. The stakeholders are emphasizing on sustainable embankment to overcome these crises in the long term.

The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal's rampage

Mannu Rahman, Coordinator of Water Keepers Bangladesh Patuakhali Kalapara Upazila, told Jago News, ‘There is no end to the loss of people in this region when a cyclone comes every year. Millions of rupees worth of crops and cropland are lost. Some villages have to spend three to four days under water. There is still waterlogging in various unions across the upazila. Water is not coming out because the canals here are occupied.’

Most affected Patuakhali
Cyclone Rimal’s course was over Patuakhali’s Khepupara. As a result, the amount of damage in this district is slightly higher. Three people were killed. 3 lakh 38 thousand people affected.

Besides, dams, fisheries, agriculture, education, roads and power sectors have suffered huge damage. The loss in agriculture is 26 crore 21 lakh rupees. The loss in the fisheries sector is 28 crore 69 lakh rupees. Besides 20 crores in embankment, 7 crores 23 lakhs in forest area, 3 crores 6 lakhs deep tube wells and 8 crores sanitary toilets have been damaged. Patuakhali District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Suman Debnath informed this information.

Patuakhali has suffered a lot in agriculture. In many parts of the district, water still accumulates in the agricultural land. Thousands of farmers are facing huge losses. Especially, the loss of Rabisya has been high.

Naimur Rahman, a resident of Kalapara, told Jago News, ‘Now is the time for mugdal, almonds and chillies. Everything was destroyed in the storm. Although the water recedes from around the houses, the cropland is still under water. It takes a long time to prepare cropland for production again. I have been farming for 10 years, I have never received compensation due to disaster.’

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Deputy Commissioner of Patuakhali. Noor Qutubul Alam told Jago News, ‘We cannot prevent natural disasters. There is no complete solution to this region’s woes. If the cyclone had happened 20 years ago, there would have been a lot of damage. Now the damage is much reduced. This is such a big cyclone, 1.75 lakh people are affected in Patuakhali. Only three people died in it. Now we are focusing on stabilizing the dam.’

Many houses are still flooded. Agriculture is adversely affected due to salinity encroachment. People are now moving to cities in search of work. Migrating without making any provision for livelihood.- Nikhil Chandra Bhadra, Coordinator of Coast Guard Movement

The entire southern region is affected
Residents of the southern region say that water has entered the locality after the weak embankment broke and the embankment overflowed. Livelihoods are affected. Marginalized people are becoming economically weaker due to such violence of cyclones every year. The effect of which is long-term. Storm surges are 8 to 12 feet high. Compared to that, the height of the river dams in this area is low. Sea and river water is rising. As a result, water easily overflows the dam. But the Water Development Board is not making any long-term plans for dam renovation.

The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal's rampage

Mahtab Hossain, a resident of Barisal’s Uzirpur, told Jago News, “Due to the impact of Cyclone Rimal, the fish cages and water barges were destroyed and the loss was about Tk 10 lakh. There is no way to turn around from this loss and start trading again.’

The same situation prevails in vast areas of Khulna, Bagerhat, Bhola, Barguna, Pirojpur, Jhalkathi, Barisal, Noakhali. Many crop lands in these areas are still under water.

Khulna Deputy Commissioner Khandkar Yasir Arefin told Jago News, ‘The damage that is happening every year, the tidal wave is a natural thing. We have nothing to do here. It is not possible to compensate the people only with relief. We have been informing these things centrally. Let’s see how the government is considering. We think a permanent dam would be a solution. It will reduce the damage to the agricultural economy.’

Morelganj upazila has flooded the most areas in Bagerhat. Flooding of three to five feet has occurred in this upazila. In addition to crop land, numerous fish enclosures were damaged in the area. Farmers in the area said that they had never seen such a prolonged flood before. Fish and agriculture are over.

The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal's rampage

Local farmer Sharif, a resident of Bagerhat’s Morelganj, said, ‘After three days, the water came down from the crop field. Two days after the cyclone, the crop fields were submerged in tidal water. The flood water from these three rivers caused more damage. A big fish cage of our two brothers has also been destroyed.’

Nikhil Chandra Bhadra, Coordinator of the Coast Guard Movement, told Jago News, ‘There was not much loss of life in this cyclone. But its damage is indescribable. A family’s single living room is also gone. Those who have a cow also died. The only source of livelihood was the fish tank, which was washed away. There are thousands of such families in our region. Can their damage be estimated? Their livelihood is nothing. It’s a very long time to come back from losing everything. These losses are having a terrible impact on the socio-economic affairs of the people of the region.’

He said, ‘Many houses are still flooded. Agriculture is adversely affected due to salinity encroachment. People are now moving to cities in search of work. Migrating without making any provision for livelihood.’

Chairman of the River and Delta Research Center Mohammad Ejaz told Jago News, “For the last 10 years, the locals have been saying one thing, ‘We don’t want relief, we want sustainable dams.’ Has it been possible to provide sustainable dams in the last 10 years? The administration says that the dam is eaten by rats. Now it is not impossible to build a dam at a height of 15 feet. Even if they are dammed, they can be made sustainable by planting trees on their banks. But they do not do that and commit corruption.’

‘Now disaster is someone’s grief, someone’s celebration. Local people are not included when dam projects are made. Influential politicians of the area embezzled money by taking tenders. There is no transparency and accountability in these works. Later more disasters will come but due to corruption it is difficult to deal with these disasters. I think, now the biggest obstacle to prevent natural disasters is corruption.

The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal's rampage

Wounds across the Sundarbans

Every year Sundarbans avoids the fury of any storm including Rimal. The forest is damaged while preventing. Before the wound heals, another disaster strikes like a cyclone. This time, the Sundarbans sank under several feet of water due to heavy rains due to Rimal. Hundreds of animals died. There is damage to plants. The forest department has also been affected in many ways.

Mihir Kumar Do, Conservator of Forests (CF) of Khulna region, said that the rampage of the Rimal and the flood have caused extensive damage to the wildlife of the Sundarbans. Apart from extensive loss of vegetation, various forest offices, patrol boats, tin sheds, solar panels and infrastructure of the forest department have been damaged. At this time, the jetty and the pond of the Cuttack sanctuary office ghat have been washed away in the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone has blown away the tin sheds of 25 patrol outposts including Dubla, Katka, Kachikhali, Bagi and various forest offices.

After Sidor and Aila, 1.75 lakh people were affected in Barisal division by super cyclone Amphan, 2.2 lakh 35 thousand people were affected in Rimal. The official death toll from Cyclone Sidr in 2007 was 3,363. However, the number of dead is 10,000, according to the Red Crescent.

11 lakh 787 hectares of land immediately became unfit for cultivation due to the breach of dam in Sidr. 17 lakh 78 thousand 560 poultry and cattle died. The length of the road that was washed away by the flood and destroyed was 8 thousand 75 km.

The southern region is facing long losses due to Rimal's rampage

According to the information of Bangladesh Environment Movement, 25 people were killed when Cyclone Aila hit, and the damage was Tk 220 million. Cyclone Amphan, which hit in 2020, caused a loss of around 1100 crore rupees. And the amount of loss in Rimal is about seven thousand crore rupees.

Sharif Jamil, coordinator of Water Keepers Bangladesh told Jago News, ‘The coastal area of ​​the southern part of the country is the most disaster prone due to various reasons including climate change. Since the last 20 years, the risk of life and livelihood has increased in that region due to one disaster after another including Ayla, Amphan, Yas. becoming financially destitute. As a result, common people are forced to leave the area. Cities are under increasing pressure due to immigration. The number of poverty is increasing. Its impact is falling on the economy of the entire country.

This environmentalist said, ‘There is no long-term integrated disaster management project in this area. Therefore, a specific development plan should be taken for the development of the coast. A separate budget should be allocated for the implementation of that plan.

In this regard, the Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief said. Kamrul Hasan told Jago News, ‘The disaster that happened this time is category-4. Number ten was the danger signal. It has rained by saving energy. It has ruined crops, ruined summer vegetables.’

He also said, ‘Natural disasters cannot be stopped. All we can do is adapt. And what we do after the disaster is mitigation. We are now in a pro-active state due to adaptation. The amount of damage that used to be caused by various disasters, now that damage is much less than before.’