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Experts plead for revising flood management system

          RANGPUR, Aug 5 (BSS): Experts and professionals have pleaded for revisiting the present flood management system in the country and suggested for finding a sustainable solution to the overall flood and erosion problems.
They also recommended for constituting a task force comprising members of concerned departments and representatives of the people who have been experiencing devastating floods over the years.
Engineers of Bangladesh Water Development Board, professionals and elderly people of the flood-prone areas in the northern region said, the present flood and erosion ma agement system has already been proved defective.
The flood control system has almost failed to solve the calamities, they said adding, these proved counter-productive on agriculture and pisciculture.
Successive governments and donor agencies opted for construction of thousands of kilometres of flood control embankments on either side of any river throughout the country to cope with floods and river erosions. Many other devices like spurs, groins, sluice gates, revetments and cross dams have also been constructed to protect river banks and control floods.
Such embankments and devices of other kinds have controlled floods and erosions for some areas and points, but caused a severe damage to the rich fish resources and local varieties of deep-water paddies, they said
Because of the flood control devices, natural water flows were affected at most points of the rivers and tributaries causing huge water thrusts at the bends eroding the embankments also.
Floodwaters cannot flow now as it used to do some five or six decades back. Rate of erosion has been increased geometrically causing siltation on the riverbeds abnormally during the last two decades. There will be more siltation in the case of more erosion and it is a natural process, they said.
In the past, when there were no flood control embankments, floodwaters used to overflow the banks and gushed away over the planes and no particular area or point was then vulnerable to floods and erosions, they pointed out.
Because of natural overflows of waters on the planes during floods, acidic, alkaline or other harmful chemical substances of the soil were washed away to the seas and oceans and huge quantities of alluvial soils were being deposited on the farmlands.
The arable lands were then becoming more and more fertile and only more crop productions were then recouping the losses incurred by the then countrymen. The floodwaters then were not remained stagnant at places as there were no embankments to hinder the ways of flowing floodwaters or creating water logging. As a result, there were less crop damages or erosions, they said.
But presently, they felt, flood control embankments do not allow release of rain waters to nearby rivers and if floodwaters enter through the damaged portions of the embankments, those cannot be receded to the same rivers quickly because of the same problem.
On the other hand, our farmers are now using huge quantities of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and most portions of which are remaining in the soil damaging its fertility. But if there were no embankments, our plane lands would have possibilities to be overflowed and washed away by floodwaters in almost regular intervals. And thus, the soil health could be regained naturally.


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