Erosion by Jamuna river in Sirajganj scares people

The Bangladesh Water Development Board has yet to take measures to combat the untimely erosion

Published : 18 Jan 2023, 06:23 AM
Updated : 18 Jan 2023, 06:23 AM

An untimely erosion by the river Jamuna in Sirajganj's Chouhali Upazila has frightened local people.

An area of one and a half square kilometres in Baghutia Union’s Binain to Char Salimabad have been eroded by the Jamuna in the past few weeks. The Bangladesh Water Development Board is yet to take any measures to prevent the erosion, locals said.

The river has already engulfed a government primary school, a mosque, a madrasa, a market and 50 households and farming lands.

At least ten educational institutions, including the Binanoy Government Primary School, Samvudiya Government Primary School, Samvudiya High School, Poila High School, Choubaria BM College and Baghutia Technical School and College are at risk of being impacted.

“In my 60 years of life, I have never witnessed river erosion in the month of Poush. One part of my home is already engulfed by the river. I could have lived in the rest of the house if the WDB erected a dam,” said Sanowar Hossain, a resident of Char Salimabad, a river island.

“Now I think I have to migrate with my family. But I don’t own any other land. Where shall we go? I’m really worried.”

Jasim Uddin, a resident of Binain village, said the sudden untimely erosion by the river Jamuna had already taken away homes, farmland, and educational institutions. Many other structures are at risk, but the WDB is yet to take any measures to prevent it, he said.

“People living in the southern part of Chouhali upazila always face the risk of river erosion. But the WDB placed geobags along 900 metres of Binain and Char Salimabad village to prevent erosion,” said Baghutia Union Council Chairman Abul Kalam Molla.

But the geobags slid down after the river water receded and then the erosion started again, he said. The authorities in the WDB were informed about the untimely erosion but they have not taken any step as yet, he said.

A project proposal has been submitted to construct a permanent embankment in the affected areas, said Mahbubur Rahman, executive engineer of Sirajganj Water Development Board. The embankment construction will begin once the project is approved, he said, adding no temporary steps were taken to prevent the current erosion.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher