Siltation of riverbeds and haors is the main cause of floods29 June 2022
It is alarming that siltation of riverbeds, haors, baors and canals is the main reason for this year's terrible outbreak of floods within a month in the country's north and northeast regions. It also obstructs water to recede quickly. So, heavy rainfall and water flowing down from upstream are not only the reason behind the floods, says a research findings.
There is no doubt that there has been an extensive flood in Sylhet and Rangpur regions this month, but did we explore the reasons behind it? There has been a record amount of rainfall in Assam, India this time. There has been excessive rainfall in Bangladesh as well. But, why did we fail to restrain the upstream flow and rainwater swiftly? Because, it is the water bodies and rivers that accumulate the rainwater. However, over the last three and a half decades, the scenario of those rivers and haors has changed entirely. Along with rivers, the haors have filled up too over the period.
Unfortunately, it still fails to affect our conscience. Conservation of the water bodies or the environment doesn't get priority in the government's development plans. On the other hand, opportunists, in their vested interests, take on such projects that are primarily centered on the destruction of nature and environment. And 'Miraculously' these get approval too. However, we do not see anything about the protection of haors, in particular. This clarifies the mindset of the government. Now when most of the country's haors have been lost, falling in the hands of 'development bandits', what are the Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board doing?
The Institute of Planning and Development highlighted its recent research findings over the change in the use of land in the haors region and extent of floods across the country. According to the institute, in 1988 haors had an area of 3,034 square kilometers. But it dropped down to only 406 square kilometers in 2020.
This suggests that haors have decreased by 86 per cent. If this trend continues, in the future there will be no wetlands left in the country. Similarly, river banks are also being erratically grabbed by local influential.
We must keep in mind that rivers and water bodies have significant contributions towards protecting our nature and environment. They are also our living entities. The government must take effective and sustainable measures in this regard right now before they are completely destroyed.