Aila still haunts coastal people

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

26th May, 2019 03:21:04 printer

Aila still haunts coastal people

The people in the coastal areas are still suffering due to long-term impact of cyclone Aila, though 10 years have passed since the tropical storm hit the southern region of the country.

On May 25, 2009, the super cyclone left a trail of devastations in the region, leaving at least 179 people killed and around 9.3 million people affected.

Recent reports said farmers cannot cultivate their croplands as salinity affected the soil seriously during the cyclonic disaster.

Without having any alternatives, the farmers are transforming their farmlands into shrimp enclosures to earn their livelihood.

People are not getting sufficient safe drinking water as the level of salinity in surface water has not yet declined to tolerable level of salinity, said some people of Jelekhali area of Sathkhira district.

Density in vegetation is declining fast as many trees are withering away due to salinity in soil.

Apart from dependence on the resource of Sundarbans, agriculture was the principal means of their livelihood in Koyra Upazila of Khulna district.

Over 60 percent of people here depend on their agricultural lands which have severely been damaged due to soil salinity. 

The government of Bangladesh is yet to implement any effective livelihood support programme for the affected people in the area.

The economic loss from the cyclone was estimated at Tk18.85 billion, according to the country’s disaster management minister. The cyclone damaged about 1,000 km of embankments, thousands of houses, livestock and other properties in eight districts in the coastal areas of the country.

According to report of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, over 500,000 houses, 7,000 km road and standing crops on over 123,000 hectares of land were damaged either completely or partially.