Flood situation in the region has started improving as water recession continues in many rivers in the Ganges basin for the third consecutive day on Saturday.
Of the total 30 river points, being monitored in Ganges basin regularly, water levels decreased at 25 stations, while increased at five points at 9 am today, creating a hope of reducing the plight of the flood-affected people in the char (shoal) and other low-lying areas.
Local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has recorded a continuous falling trend of water at the points of Pankha, Rajshahi, Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria in the past 24 hours ending 9 am today, Mukhlesur Rahman, Superintending Engineer of BWDB, told journalists.
Water levels of the Ganges River further decreased by one centimeter (CM) at Pankha in Chapainawabganj, four cm at Rajshahi, three cm at Hardinge Bridge and eight cm at Talbaria points while the water level in the Padma River decreased by eight cm at Goalunda point.
The Ganges River was flowing 169 cm, 168 cm, 87 cm and 70 cm below the danger level at Pankha, Rajshahi, Hardinge Bridge and Talbaria points respectively while the Padma River was flowing 83 cm above the danger mark at Gualundo point, he added.
Besides, the water level of the Korotoa River and the Jamuna River under the Brahmaputra Basin which flow through Bogura and Sirajganj districts were seen a further falling trend this morning, signaling more improvement in the flood situation in the two districts within the next couple of days.
Arifuzzaman Bhuiyan, executive engineer of Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC), said the water level in the Korotoa River decreased by 11 cm at Bogura point while two cm at Chak Rahimpur. The river was flowing 166 cm and 45 cm below the danger mark at the two stations respectively this morning.
He also said the water level in the Gur River decreased by five cm at Shingra point in Natore district and the river was flowing 75 cm above the danger mark.
The Atrai River was flowing 85 cm above the danger level at Baghabari point in Sirajganj district with a four cm fall afresh this morning.
Water level in the Mohananda River further receded by 10 cm at Rohanpur point in Chapainawabganj district and the river was flowing 100 cm below the danger mark.
The Atrai River was flowing 18 cm below the danger mark at Atrai point in Naogaon with an 11 cm fall afresh while 193 cm below the danger mark with 46 cm rise at Mohadevpur point in Naogaon.
Of the 15 river points both in Ganges and Brahmaputra Basins, monitored in almost all eight districts under Rajshahi division, water levels decreased at 14 points and went up at one point.
The rivers were flowing below the danger level at 10 points, while above danger mark at five points this morning.
Meanwhile, the civil administration has, so far, recorded that around seven lakh people were affected by flood and standing crops on 27,773 hectares of land were submerged in Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Sirajgonj and Bogura districts.
Moinul Islam, Additional Divisional Commissioner of Rajshahi, said the district and upazila administrations with the local public representatives have further intensified relief activities in the worst-affected areas.
Taka 24.26 lakh in cash, 1,235.68 metric tons of rice, 5.97 lakh packets of dry-food and Taka six lakh for baby food are being distributed among the marooned people in the worst-hit areas at present.
Besides, Taka six lakh for cattle feed is also being distributed in Sirajganj, Bogura and Naogaon districts.
He said the government has also allocated more 1,524.32 tonnes of rice, Taka 31.28 lakh in cash, Taka 6 lakh for baby food, 2.13 lakh packets of dry foods and Taka 11 lakh for cattle feed for distribution among the affected people in all the eight districts in the division.
If necessary, there are also additional relief materials of 1,500 tonnes of rice, Taka 40 lakh in cash, 17,000 packets of dry food, Taka 15 lakh for baby food, Taka 15 lakh for cattle-feed for Sirajgonj, Pabna, Bogura and Natore districts, Mainul Islam added.
He also said the district administrations and BWDB are closely monitoring the situation and taking instant steps when and where necessary during the deluge in Rajshahi division.
The Department of Health has undertaken all possible measures to prevent any outbreak of water-borne diseases among the marooned people in the flood-affected areas amid the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Divisional Director of Health Dr Gopendra Nath Acharya told BSS that 658 medical teams are working in 101 flood affected unions under 18 upazilas in the division. Besides, 18 flood shelters were opened in Bogura district.
He added that 50 unions in Sirajganj, 19 in Pabna, 17 in Bogura, 10 in Naogaon and five in Natore districts are the worst affected ones.
He said they have recorded 1,789 patients suffering from various other flood-related diseases, including 53 diarrheal and six respiratory tract infections since July 1.