Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Shabby dams in haors

A moneymaking mechanism

Camera photos speak volumes and tell unbiased stories. A photograph on the back page of yesterday’s issue of this daily shows that a flood protection dam in the haor region of Sunamganj district is very like to succumb to the pressure of flash flood. Floodwater is overflowing it and has already damaged it at certain points on the downstream side. Noticeably, the earth at some points of the dam has been washed away. As water in major rivers in the region is flowing much above the danger level, severe damage of the dam is just a matter of time only. In case the dam fails to withstand the pressure, crops over vast areas are feared to go under water, making crop harvest uncertain or even impossible for the farmers.

It is evident from the photo that while constructing the Gurmar dam in the haor of the same name, maximum height of flood water has not been taken into consideration. The result is very much before everyone’s eyes. It is also conspicuous that, while an earthen dam needs to be built up by compacting successive layers of earth with a central impermeable layer, the dam under discussion has been made in an unprofessional and lackadaisical manner with loose soil, rendering it vulnerable to pressure of any degree. Another serious weak point of loose soil embankment is that rats and rodents can make holes in it easily, creating scope for water to pass through it and thus damaging it in the quickest possible pace. The idea of planting trees on the embankment is good but is ultimately useless if the dam itself is shaky.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that no serious thought has been given to devising a lasting solution to the recurring problem in the life of the haor people because a permanent solution is of immense help to the victims but not to those who see repeated damages to the dams and repairing and re-repairing of the same as a money spinning device. These are the people who prefer giving alms to the people there to solving their agonising problem once for all.