Amphan-struck people: Hundreds still have nowhere to go

Six months have gone since cyclone Amphan walloped the coastal districts of the country. And winter is coming, too.

But hundreds of people are still living on the broken embankments.

Also, the lives of around 20,000 people of Shreula and Pratapnagar unions of Satkhira’s Ashashuni upazila have now become dependent on tides.

Tidal water is still flowing through the broken embankments and entering their homes.

Many people are still staying in relief shelters, while some are living in makeshift houses on the embankments.

Super cyclone Amphan slammed Bangladesh’s coast on May 20 with strong wind and heavy rains. It also caused a tidal surge which inflicted heavy damage to the embankments and flooded many areas.

Initial estimates by four ministries suggested that Amphan badly hit 26 districts and caused damage of Tk1,100 crore.

The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Satkhira where the devastating signs are still visible.

Amphan wreaked havoc on the coastal parts of Ashashuni and Shyamnagar upazilas of the district, leaving 1.5 lakh people marooned.

Several villages were swept away as embankments of 23 points in two upazilas got damaged. Many fish enclosures got washed away, too.

At least 20 embankments collapsed due to the impact of the cyclone, leading to saltwater inundation. The communication system in different areas still has not got back to normal.

Also, many people are passing an inhuman life due to a shortage of food and medical services.

However, the local administration of Ashashuni upazila has managed to repair 18 points of the embankments. But five points at Hazrakhali, Kurikaunia, Chakla, Harispur areas still remain broken.

So, tidal water is now flowing through the broken embankments and entering the homes of 20 villages in Sreula and Protapnagar unions.

Abu Hena, Shakil, chairman of Shreula Union Parishad, said: “Already six months have passed and no initiative has been taken to repair the embankment at Hazrakhali point. Many people are still living in relief shelters as tidal water still comes into their house.”

Mahfuza Khatun, 70, a resident of Hazrakhali village, said: “I along with my family have been living on the embankment for the last six months. And winter is coming, but we have no warm clothes.”

Nazrul Islam, 58, another resident of the village, said: “Like me, many people have lost everything in the cyclone.”

Jakir Hossain, chairman of Pratapnagar union, said: “Seventeen villages in my area still inundated. No step has been taken to repair the Kurikaunia, Chakla, Hariskhali points of the embankment.”

Sudhangshu Kumar, executive engineer of Satkhira Water Development Board, said: “The repair work will start in December and we hope it will be done soon.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh