Flood Devastation in Sylhet: Over Tk 800 Crore in Damages, Urgent Recovery Efforts Needed

According to officials from the district administrations and the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC), the recent flooding in Sylhet has resulted in damages above Tk 800 crore. As the floodwaters slowly decrease, the complete magnitude of the destruction is becoming evident. The infrastructure of roads, fisheries, and agriculture has been significantly impacted, resulting in initial damage estimations amounting to Tk 842.45 crore.

Unfolding Harm and Effects on the Community

Saheda Begum, a widowed resident of Chandpur village in Fenchuganj upazila, voiced her apprehensions on the detrimental effects of the floods. “My house has been affected by floodwaters.” Furthermore, our local roads have sustained significant damage. “I require the assistance of the government to repair this road in order to restore communications; I am not seeking relief,” she stated.

Sohodeb Das, a native of Chandpur village, emphasised the persisting difficulties despite the decreasing water levels. “Despite the gradual recession of floodwaters, multiple roads remain submerged.” “In over fifty villages in our region, there is still water present on the streets,” he stated.

As to the Chief Engineer of Sylhet City Corporation, Noor Azizur Rahman, the city has incurred an approximate damage worth Tk 300 crore. “I have not completed the calculation of the damage, which has the potential to increase even more,” he remarked. Sylhet city saw over 250 km of inundated roadways.

Mohammad Khair Uddin Molla, the deputy head of the Sylhet Agriculture Extension Department, has reported substantial agricultural damages. The floods have caused a total financial loss of Tk 275.21 crore. A total of 20,440 hectares of Aush Bijtala in 13 upazilas of Sylhet have been cultivated with vegetables and braided Aman rice. Furthermore, the loss of crops on 15,506 hectares of land resulted in the impact on 98,653 farmers due to floodwater,” he explained in detail.

Structural impairment

KM Faruq Hossain, executive engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department Sylhet, reported that floods have resulted in the destruction of 160 kilometres of roads, with an estimated cost of around Tk 119 crore. He warned that the real extent of the damage could be greater.

Amir Hossain, an executive engineer from the Sylhet Road and Highway Department, offered additional information regarding the extent of the infrastructure damage. The Sylhet district has had 40 kilometres of road damage due to flooding. “The projected loss amounts to Tk 85 crore,” he stated.

Effect on Fisheries

Seema Rani Biswas, the Fisheries Officer (Additional Duty) of Sylhet District, has claimed that the flood has resulted in a loss of fish resources worth Tk 44.86 crore in the district. The flooding caused utter destruction to the district’s 21,111 fish ponds, commonly referred to as dighi farms. According to her explanation, Zakiganj, one of Sylhet’s 13 upazilas, has incurred the most amount of damage, with losses amounting to Tk 18.38 crore and the destruction of at least 6,755 dighi farms due to flooding.

Executive Engineer Dipak Ranjan Das of Paubo Sylhet acknowledged the positive progress in the flood situation, but cautioned about possible future dangers. “The water level is decreasing due to the absence of rainfall.” Our objective is to extract minerals from the rivers. “The obstruction of water flow caused by the developments in the city and haor areas could pose a new threat of future flooding in the Sylhet district,” he asserted.

Given the magnitude of the flood in Sylhet, it is evident that substantial resources and well-coordinated actions will be necessary to repair infrastructure, assist impacted residents, and mitigate the risk of future floods. The complete extent of the damage will become apparent once the water recedes further, maybe leading to higher current estimates. Timely government intervention is essential to provide help for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the impacted regions.