Completing the Trinity

Text - Wafiur Rahman & Photo – Fahad Kaizer
Saturday, August 19th, 2017


Although the Meghna river flows completely inside Bangladesh, it is a vital part of the Subcontinent’s transboundary river basins


The Meghna river is one of the three largest rivers in Bangladesh. It’s the downstream of combined flows of two others largest rivers the Padma & the Jamuna and finally meet with the Bay of Bengal. Meghna is reinforced by the Dhaleshwari before Chandpur as well. The Meghna is the widest river among those that flow completely inside the boundaries of Bangladesh.


Around 200 establishments have become threatened due to the untimely erosion by the river Meghna that has intensified in recent days in Rajapur and Ilisha unions of Bhola. Establishments including markets, Ilisha-Moju Chawdhury hat, ferry terminal, Ilisha and Rajapur-Dhaka launch terminal and about 25 educational institutions are now under the threat of erosion, locals said.


Thousands of people living on the bank of the Meghna River in Rajapur and Ilisha unions under Bhola sadar upazila are living in uncertainty under the threat of river erosion. Locals have urged authorities to dump cement concrete (CC) blocks on the river bank of Meghna from west Rajapur to Ilisha union to arrest the river erosion. Sources said about 15 mouza out of 16 of Rajapur union and four mouza of Ilisha union of Bhola sadar upazila have already been devoured in the river Meghna during the last 10 years. Some 50 thousand families have become homeless with 22 thousand hectares of arable land disappearing into the river in the two unions.


Locals said the erosion continued in this area as the water from the upper stream directly hit the south Rajapur river bank. The affected people expressed concerns that if protection measures are not taken immediately, the whole northern part of Bhola district may disappear into the river Meghna.


Chairman of Rajapur union Rejaul Karim and principal of local Fazil Madrasha of Ilisha union Mowlana Mofijul Islam, erosion victims, said that due to the continued erosion hundreds of establishments including markets, educational institutions, ferry terminal, Ilisha-Moju Chawdhury hat, Ilisha and Rajapur-Dhaka launch terminal and other installations have now become threatened.


The socio-economic state of fisher’s community of Meghna river indicate that they are facing lots of problem for their livelihood development. The major problems were lack of financial support for fishing and living, technical knowledge on fishing and management is another major problem stated by them.  Lack of facilities of institutional training, education, medical service and fishermen friendly credit system are necessary for development of fisher’s community. As fish and fishermen are closely related, so the improvement of their socio-economic condition is demand-worthy. However further studies are needed to address the more specific issues to promote the potentialities of fishers communities towards contributing the nation economy.

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