Surviving a flood for a couple of weeks is one thing but striving against all odds to get back to a pre-flood state is totally another story. The resilient Bangladeshis who live in the flood-prone areas and face the natural calamity almost every year have to struggle hard to restart their agriculture, poultry raising, fishing, rice husking etc.
This year, nearly eight million people have been hard hit by floods in 32 districts of the country and the signs of devastation are still visible there. It is sad to note that the victims are passing days in extreme miseries as rising water has washed away their houses, croplands, domestic animals and other valuables and has severely damaged communication network.
Much to the worry of the farmers, crops on 102,808 hectares of land have been totally damaged while those on 504,147 hectares have been damaged partially. Thousands of chickens and ducks have perished due to floods, leaving the rural people in utter financial hardship.
It is good news that the government has intensified relief operations in the flood-affected areas through the district administration. The government has allocated adequate funds for relief operations to help meet emergency needs of the affected people.
While we appreciate the relief and rehabilitation works being undertaken by the government, we would like to point out that steps should also be taken to construct permanent embankments with bricks and mortars so that these do not get washed away under a little pressure. We should prevent flooding and not act after it has done its damages.
However, what is more important is to take steps to revive the agriculture economy in the affected areas. While relief materials will help them meet a part of their immediate necessities, farmers are in dying need for support in cash and kind to restart crop production. In addition to supplying them with seeds and fertilisers, they should be provided with bank loans without interest or at negligible rates. Without such assistance, crop production cannot reach the desired level. It is for the sake of the farmers, people in general and the national economy that the government should come up with appropriate policies in this regard.