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River Erosion May destroy 2,365 Hectares of Land – CEGIS Report.
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River Erosion May destroy 2,365 Hectares of Land – CEGIS Report.

River Erosion May destroy 2,365 Hectares of Land – CEGIS Report.

The rain and the upstream water are increasing rapidly. The river erosion has also started along with those. This year, 2,365 hectares of land are feared to be destroyed in the river in Bangladesh.

The Research Institute of Bangladesh Centre for Environment and Geographical Information Services (CEGIS) has given such a forecast. About 23,000 people in 16 areas will be homeless.

The positive news is that river erosion has been declining over the decade, especially those places which were lost once due to river erosion.

In 2011, 6,600 hectares of land was lost due to river erosion annually. But it decreased to 3,200 hectares in 2018. It came down even more to 2,600 hectares in 2019.

However, Ainun Nishat, an emeritus professor at BRAC University, thinks that river erosion has decreased in the country, which is positive news. But the biggest reason behind this was that the government had invested a lot in this sector.

The Water Development Board (BWDB) has built a lot of infrastructures to protect the river banks and build dams. But the success should have been more in proportion to the investment.

He raised the question of why the erosion would take place if the river ditches in front of the areas threatened by river erosion were excavated and the Embankments were strengthened.

Naria in Shariatpur on the bank of the river Padma has been in the grip of severe erosion in the last three years. Chauhali in Sirajganj, Sariakandi in Bogra, and Debigram in Chapainawabganj also had severe erosion every year. This time the risk of erosion in these areas is very low. Especially in Naria of Shariatpur, there was no erosion last year in the most discussed river erosion area of 2017. There is no forecast of any breakdown this year, either.

According to CEGIS, the 16 areas that will be more prone to river erosion this year. These are Khuknikata in Shahjadpur Upazila of Sirajganj, Roumari, and Rajibpur Upazilas in Kurigram, Nagarpur, and Salimabad chars in Tangail, Shibchar Upazila in Madaripur on the Padma river, Goalando Ghat in Rajbari Upazila. Erosion has already started in many places in these areas. River erosion will occur in Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra, Manikganj, Pabna, and Faridpur this year.

Deputy Minister for Water Resources Enamul Haque said, “We will gradually reduce river erosion in all parts of the country. In 2017, more than 5,000 buildings had to be demolished in Naria. But now no building, not even an inch of soil, will break. We are developing projects to prevent erosion in other areas with experience from erosion in complex areas like Naria. Hopefully, we will be able to prevent all the breakdowns in the next few years.”

According to the CEGIS forecast, 365 hectares of the residential area could be affected by the erosion this year. Besides, there are 5,400 meters of roads, 32 educational institutions, 3 hat bazaars, 29 mosques, 2 government buildings, 1 office of non-government organizations, and 3 health complexes that can be affected by river erosion.

CEGIS has made this erosion forecast using satellite imagery of all the country’s rivers, field surveys, and weather forecasts. The trustee of the Ministry of Water Resources has been providing forecasts since 2004. About 60 to 70 percent of the forecasts invented by the institute’s consultant Mominul Haque Sarkar turns out to be true.

Apart from the Bangladesh government, India, Malaysia, and Cambodia have also started using river erosion forecasting methods. They are also predicting river erosion in their country.

When asked, Malik Fida A Khan, Executive Director of CEGIS, said at Prothom Alo that the erosion of the river bank is a natural and normal phenomenon according to the soil type of Bangladesh. It is possible to further reduce erosion by building infrastructure to prevent erosion using researched data.

Source: Prothom Alo

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