Char residents, due to their location, are vulnerable to natural disasters
Some 41,000 residents of Dwip Char Abdullah union have no shelter centres to protect them from cyclones and other natural disasters.
Dwip Char Abdullah comprises eight separate chars in the Meghna River under Ramgati upazila of Lakshmipur district.
Char residents are vulnerable to the natural disasters, said the locals and union parishad chairman.
The Char has a police camp, to maintain law and order, but the police are also concerned about natural disasters.
It takes over an hour to reach this area from Char Alexander of Ramgati – by river or trawler.
Locals said that only one ward of this union is connected with the mainland and the eight others are in the middle of the Meghna River.
The others are: Char Abdulla, Notun Char Abdulla, Char Gazaria, Char Sevaz, Telir Char, Sonar Char, Moulvir Char, and Char Muzam.
According to Master Alauddin, team leader of a local cyclone preparedness committee and resident of the union, over 40,000 people live in the area.
"Most of the people live in huts, and there are no strong establishments in which to shelter from natural disasters. They just pray to the Almighty," he said.
"There are some mud-made forts used for buffalos," said Nurunnabi, a cowboy of the Char.
However, Kamal Hossain Monzur, the chairman of the union parishad said that the number of residents is around 15 to 20 thousand because many of the residents have moved to other places.
Abdul Momin, Union Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Ramgati upazila said eight trawlers are ready to evacuate the residents of the Chars, because of cyclone Amphan, to safer places.
"We cannot build cyclone shelters because of river erosion. However, the proposal to build mud forts has been sent to the ministry of disaster management and relief," he added.
Following the 2011 census, the population of the Char is around 41,000.
However, the UNO said the number is around 10,000 inhabitants.