RAJSHAHI: The irrigation by using surface water have set around 1,600 hectares of lands free from water-logging, benefitting more than 12,000 farmers to boost food production.
Farmers have started deriving total benefits of the irrigation facilities with breakthrough of re-excavating 28-kilometer canals in different upazilas, reports BSS.The canals were re-excavated under a project titled “Extension of Irrigation Facilities and Mitigation of Water Logging in Bagha, Charghat and Paba Upazilas of Rajshahi District”, despite the present Covid-19 pandemic.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has implemented the Taka 28-crore project recently increasing cultivable land by 1,250 hectares through mitigating water logging problems and providing irrigation to 350 hectares of land directly.
"We have re-excavated 28-kilomter canal in addition to construction of 1,535-meter concrete wall, 100-meter slabs, four foot-over bridges and digging of 20 dug-walls", said project director Engineer Nazirul Islam.
Besides, a total of 10 low lift pumps run by two cusec solar panels each were installed for lifting water from the canal for irrigation in farming lands.
Apart from this, 4,035 meters retaining wall, eight light culverts and one sluice gate were constructed.
Islam said the infrastructures have brought more than 1,600 hectares of croplands under irrigation facilities contributing a lot towards producing around 8,800 metric tons of additional food grains every year.With intervention of the project, around 8,000 saplings of fruit, wood and medicinal plants were transplanted on the embankment of the re-excavated canals.
In the near future, the transplanted trees will contribute a lot to creating additional forest resources along with improving the environment.
"We had to suffer a lot because of the water-logging problem every year," said Barjahan Ali, a beneficiary farmer of Belghoria village, adding that the past odd situation has been removed at present amid implementation of the project.
Abdus Samad, another farmer, said apart from sugarcane, no other crop was produced due to the water stagnant problem. But, at present, the area has become a suitable place for cultivating and producing various seasonal crops and vegetables round the year.
Mofidul Islam Bachhu, Chairman of Harian Union Parisahd under Paba Upazila, said the initiative will help increase employment facilities of the laborers and marginal farmers. It will also reduce the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater.
Around 3,000 households in Char Mazar Diar village have got chances of minimizing their problems relating to shortage of both irrigation and drinking water.
The villagers are using the water for drinking and other household purposes and also cultivating various less-irrigation consuming cereal crops and vegetables after the best use of the surface water.
A Low Lift Pump (LLP) and four dug-wells were installed creating scopes of providing the village families with drinking and irrigation water.
After lifting water from the river through the LLP, the villagers can irrigate in around 350 to 500 bighas of croplands. Besides, around 35 to 40 bigha of farming fields can be irrigated by each of the dug-wells.
Islam also said both the LLP and dug-wells are being driven by solar power as the area is separated by the Padma River from the mainland.
The hard-to-reach villagers have already started availing the scopes of changing their fate after best uses of the infrastructures which are being adjudged as the effective means of lessening their long-standing pain.
Shah Alam, 30, one of the beneficiary villagers, said an acute water crisis existed in the area resulting in the untold sufferings of the poor and other marginalised people.
They were facing a severe water crisis for decades but by dint of installing a dug-well in the area, 100 to 150 families are getting their daily drinking water and also cultivating crops and vegetables with the same water.
Monwara Begum, 53, another resident, said they had been suffering from water crisis for decades but now they’re having a dug-well and their suffering has abated to some extent.
She mentioned that the dug-well has become a blessing for them. Before installation of the well, they had to fetch water from far away. She demanded installing more dug-wells in the area.