Haor catastrophe: water resources minister says a lesson to learn for future

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Dhaka, April 23: Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud on Sunday said his ministry could do nothing but had everything to learn from the catastrophe in the haor areas.

He made the comment while replying to a question of reporters at a press briefing at the secretariat on Sunday morning.

“At this moment, we have to learn the lesson why it (disaster in haor) happened. We have nothing to do now.”

The minister called the briefing at the secretariat to talk over the recent flash flood in the haor areas including Sunamganj and Moulvibazar.

“We have to re-evaluate certain matters like to raise embankment height or to change rice variety that grow in the area with longer harvesting time.”

This was not usual time for a flash flood in the area which was incidental of water overtopped the dam when happened, he said.

Prior to March 29, Cherapunjee in Meghalaya of India received 1,100mm of rain in nine days and the water essentially came from there, the minister said.

Meanwhile, Sylhet and Sunamganj each received about 450mm and 500mm of rain respectively, the minister added.

“The flood mainly happened because of this water. Now we can only take lessons from here,” Anisul said.

An unusually early flash flood struck the haor belt late last month.

Three weeks after the flash flood, fishes, several thousand ducks, frogs and leeches started dying in the haors of Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Netrakona and Mymensingh.