Monday, 4 July, 2022

Mismanagement causes severe Sylhet flooding

Climate change, lack of int’l initiatives are also blamed

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 22 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) has found three reasons -- climate change, lack of international initiatives and mismanagement -- for the ongoing catastrophic deluge in Sylhet, which is deemed the worst disaster in years.

The observation came at a press conference titled ‘Humanitarian Disaster in Sylhet due to Sudden Flood: Causes and Action’ at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity in the capital on Tuesday.

Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN) Global Coordinator and BAPA Member Khalequzzaman joined the event virtually and delivered a keynote speech.

He said, “The rain that Sylhet has witnessed in the last few days was not expected. This has happened due to the climate change, which is a global issue. This rain will increase further.”

About the second reason, Khalequzzaman said, “There are 16 inland rivers in the Meghna Basin. But there is no agreement for joint management of water and silt. India is using their dams at will.

“They hold and release water as per their requirement. The situation could have been handled by joint management.”

He mentioned the use of diversion system in water resources management, construction of physical infrastructure, irregularities in river management, and frequent extraction of sand as the third cause of floods.

Rivers and haors (water bodies) of the area which have been filled need to be excavated, he said.

“Crop protection dams are of no use. What is happening in the haor and riverine areas in the name of development is just a disturbance to the natural balance. The solution to this problem must be based on science.”       BEN Founder and BAPA Vice-President Nazrul Islam said that they need to learn from mistakes to prevent flood like in Sylhet.

“The attitude and strategy to manage rivers are a problem. Water flow should be controlled freely, not by dams,” he said.

He feared that Dhaka could face a similar situation like in Sylhet as the rivers in the capital city have turned into canals.

BAPA Secretary Sharif Jamil and Joint Secretary Sharmin Murshid also addressed the press conference.