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Flooding in Sylhet, Sunamganj: Waterborne diseases break out in affected areas

Waterborne diseases are spreading, exacerbating the suffering of flood victims in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts.

Inadequate relief, food shortages, a lack of safe drinking water, and power outages have all contributed to the miseries of the people in the districts.

Diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections (RTI), skin diseases, and eye infections have spread among flood victims due to a severe lack of safe drinking water.

So far, 114 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in the Sylhet district. A total of 140 medical teams have been working in Sylhet city and different upazilas of the district. Food, saline, and medicine are being distributed to flood victims.

Local sources said affected people have to go several miles to collect relief or buy subsidised food grains under the OMS scheme, while some of them do not have the money to go to the relief distribution place.

Although the Surma River was still flowing above the danger mark on Monday, the flood situation in Sylhet has improved as floodwaters have begun to recede in many areas of the district.

According to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center, the Surma River was flowing at 64 cm at Kanaighat Point.

The Kushiyara River was flowing at 100cm above the danger level at Amalshid Point of Zakiganj and at 32cm at Sheola Point of Beanibazar on the day.

Water levels in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Ganges-Padma rivers are rising, while the major rivers of Bangladesh’s northeastern region in the upper Meghna basin are declining, according to the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB).

The flood situation at some places in Sylhet, Sunamganj, and Netrokona districts may improve, it said.

According to Sylhet District Fisheries Officer Md Abul Kalam Azad, owners of 15,163 fisheries in the district have reported a loss of Tk21.73 crore as a result of the flash flood.

The flooding caused infrastructural damage worth Tk1.55 crore. The worst affected areas are Zakiganj, Gowainghat, Kanaighat, Bishwanath, Jaintapur, and Beanibazar upazilas.

According to the Fisheries Department, 6,350 fish farms in Zakiganj were inundated with a loss of Tk6.22 crore, 2,592 farms in Gowainghat with a loss of Tk1.40 crore, 2,150 farms in Kanaighat with a loss of Tk1.55 crore, and 2,100 farms in Zaintapur with a loss of Tk1.74 crore.

Besides, 535 fish farms in Sylhet Sadar Upazila, 845 in Golapganj, 70 in Balaganj, 145 in Companiganj, and 210 in South Surma were flooded.