The district fisheries office has prepared a list of victims but is yet to receive instructions on how to assist them
The government's plans to assist and rehabilitate the victims of cyclone Amphan in Satkhira are still only on paper.
The fisheries, agriculture and livestock resources office has prepared a list after assessing the damage. But the office is yet to receive instructions on how to rehabilitate or assist the cyclone-affected victims.
At the same time, the government has highlighted the need to repair the dams, dykes and embankments in coastal areas.
Initially, the villagers had maintained and repaired the dykes and embankments themselves, but later many sections were washed away by tidal waves.
At present, the dykes and embankments are being renovated under the supervision of the Water Development Board (WDB) and the army. However, sources at the WDB said that it would take more than two months to complete the repairs.
According to sources at the Satkhira WDB, 34 km of embankment at 70 points under Shyamnagar, Kaliganj and Debhataupazilas of Satkhira WDB-1 have been partially damaged.
Furthermore, a one kilometer stretch of embankment has collapsed at 13 points. Moreover, 66 kilometers of embankment in Satkhira WDB-2, 105 points in Satkhira Sadar, Asashuni and some parts of Shyamnagar have been damaged.
Abul Khair, executive engineer of Satkhira WDB-1 said that work is underway to repair the dyke in Shyamnagarupazila. They had started the work by hiring contractors under the directive of the ministry, but no allocation has been given for this, he said.
"Three kilometers of dykes are being repaired in the Datinakhali, Durgabati, Gabura, Japali and Parshemari areas. In the beginning, we prepare the soil. Then, it will be sealed with Geo Bags and Geo Textile to make the dyke sustainable," saidAbulKhair.
Besides, the army is supervising the dyke repair at two points in Lebugunia and Ghola areas, he added.
Satkhira WDB-2 Executive Engineer Arifuzzaman Khan said, dyke repair is underway in Hazrakhali, Hijla, Kola, Kamalkati, Chakla, Kurikaunia and Dayarkhat areas of Asashuniupazila of Satkhira.
"The Army is supervising the repair work in the Hazrakhali, Kola, Chakla and Kurikaunia areas. They received Tk2 crore in advance for the job. They will get a further allocation based on the work," said the WDB official.
31 kilometers of embankments have been completely damaged along the coast, and 35 kilometers were partially damaged, he said.
Water is still entering the areas through Chakla, Kurikaunia and Hazrakhali. Dyke repair is also underway, added Arifuzzaman Khan.
SM Ataul Haque Dolan, chairman of Shyamnagar Upazila Parishad in Satkhira, said so far 300 bundles of corrugated iron sheets have been distributed among 300 affected families.
Also, Tk7 lakh in cash and 500 tonnes of GR rice have been distributed among these families.
"The concerned department has prepared a list of victims in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. But there have been no instructions," said the chairman.
At present, the government has emphasised the need to repair the embankments in coastal areas, said Ataul Haque.
Nurul Islam, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Satkhira, said the district witnessed a loss of around Tk138 crore in the agriculture sector.
"Based on suggestions from the secretary of the public administration ministry, we made a list of affected farmers. We are also preparing a rehabilitation programme. But no official decision from the government is available about the assistance," he said.
So far, the rehabilitation programme for farmers is on paper only, added Nurul Islam.
Dr Shahidul Islam, district livestock officer in Satkhira, said that 86 poultry farms and 91 cattle farms in the district were damaged.
"The estimated amount of loss is around Tk77.86 lakh. A list of affected farmers has been sent to the ministry. However, no instructions have been received from there so far," he added.
Mashiur Rahman, fisheries officer of Satkhira, said shrimp, white fish and shrimp pollen have been washed away from 13,046 hectares of land in the district.
The amount of loss was Tk176.6 crore. A list of affected traders has been prepared and sent to the higher authorities, said Mashiur.
"The government has announced an incentive package of Tk5,000 crore in the fisheries sector. Shrimp farmers in Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat will receive it. The affected fish traders can avail the incentive at four percent interest," he said.
Sources from the district administration said 22,515 houses in the district have been completely destroyed, while 60,917 houses have been partially damaged.
SM Mostafa Kamal, deputy commissioner of Satkhira, said the government has so far provided 500 bundles of corrugated iron sheets for the rehabilitation of coastal people affected by cyclone Amphan.
"Additionally, one thousand more bundles will be available soon. Moreover, the government has directed the WDB to repair the embankment," said the deputy commissioner.
Meanwhile, in Koyra upazila of Khulna, people are still bearing the brunt of this natural disaster even 15 days after super cyclone Amphan hit them. Many of them continue to live under the open sky on embankments.
Saline water submerged Koyrasadar union again on Thursday morning damaging the embankment and adding to sufferings of local people.
Koyrasadar union farmer Gazi Abdus Samad said, "Instead of relief operations every year, we need a strong and solid embankment. Otherwise, our woes will not end."
Sadar union Upazila Parishad member Harendra Nath said natural disasters over the years have broken the economic backbone of the region.
"We fight a never ending battle only for survival," he added.
Koyra Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shimul Kumar Saha said they have called a meeting for Saturday where the locals would talk about embankment repair.
Local member of parliament Aktaruzzaman Babu said some of the damaged embankments have already been repaired while others are still being fixed.
He claimed the cyclone-affected people are getting all the required help from the government.