Cumilla, Sept 1 (UNB) – Growing vegetables usually requires land and arduous labour. So, the Cumilla Agricultural Research Centre has introduced vegetable farming using only water.
Ash gourd, cucumber, lettuce can be produced using this system, known as hydroponic system, said Md Ayub Hossain Khan, scientific officer of the centre.
Vegetables can be grown in verandas and corridors of high-rises using this method of growing plants in water-based nutrient rich solution.
The scientific officer also said using the method results in very few insect attacks during the cultivation time.
“If someone wants to cultivate vegetables using this system, she/he has to take water in a plastic pod and put small plastic glasses on the hole of drilled polystyrene sheet on the pod where the seed will be put,” he said.
The main technique is to provide 16 ingredients (named as Stock Solution A, B) needed for plants to grow through water instead of soil, he added.
These ingredients are available in the capital and Cumilla Agricultural Research Centre. At least six plants can be put in a plastic pod which will approximately cost Tk 1,000 in total, Ayub said.
Nazrul Islam Shaheen, an interested farmer from Kaptan Bazar area of Cumilla town, said: “I watched videos on YouTube about farming vegetables without soil and got interested in it.”
“It’d be easier for me if I could get suggestions from agriculturist directly in Cumilla,” he added.
Md Obaidullah Kayser, Chief Scientific Officer of Cumilla Agricultural Research Centre, said people living in high-rise buildings are getting interested in vegetable farming using the Hydroponic System.
“We’ve already started farming vegetables in the research centre where people of the area are coming to see it,” he said adding that the agriculturists will provide necessary suggestions to anyone interested in the system.
Dhaka, Sept 1 (UNB) – It will not be possible to bring down dengue infection rate to a zero level, but concerted efforts can help prevent another outbreak like the one experienced this year, said Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
“It’ll take more time to bring the dengue situation under control. But bringing new infection rate to a zero level is quite impossible,” he told UNB in an interview.
The DGHS chief said dengue has been there in Bangladesh since 2000 but the outbreak was sudden. “The dengue infection rate will come down in the next several years if we can [conduct] cleanliness campaign across the country and become aware ourselves,” he said.
DGHS data showed that 69,435 patients were hospitalised with dengue since January 1. Of them, 64,558 were discharged after recovery. Currently, 4,697 patients are being treated at hospitals and clinics. In 24 hours till 8am on Friday, 1,025 new patients were hospitalised.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has received complaints of 180 dengue-related deaths since January 1. It has so far reviewed 88 cases and confirmed that 52 of them were linked to dengue.
Prof Azad said they have to update the current medication system if needed after changing the guideline. According to him, tropical countries like Bangladesh are dengue-prone regions as mosquitoes get favourable atmosphere there. The climate has an important role in spreading dengue, he added.
The DG said they had talks with experts from various countries. “It’s not possible to fully eradicate dengue,” he said.
“But beginning treatment on time and drinking plentiful water or saline eliminate any risk [of death],” Prof Azad said.
Prof Dr Sania Tahmina, director of disease control unit of DGHS, said they warned the Dhaka city corporations in March about a possible dengue outbreak in the capital and across the country this year.
The densely populated megacity has been at the centre of dengue outbreak with most of the cases reported from here. Forty-nine out of the 52 confirmed dengue deaths were recorded in the capital.
Dr Tahmina said their technical team is working round the clock to tackle dengue outbreak.
Asked about the government’s plan to prevent dengue permanently, Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tazul Islam said Dhaka city corporations have been asked to formulate a master plan based on experience of this year.
The plan will include identifying different breeding grounds of Aedes and other mosquitoes and actions to destroy them, the minister said.
“We’re working on a comprehensive programme,” he added.
Minister Tazul said they have identified the weak points while working intensively this year. “[We] now know that dengue is not a seasonal issue now but a yearlong headache,” he said, adding that they will take long-term plans and month-wise activities.
A cell has been formed on behalf of the LGRD Ministry to monitor the situation regularly while high officials of the ministry were appointed in every ward of the capital.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said there was no complaint about treatment. “We’ve been doing the necessary things,” he said.
The DGHS has been in touch with foreign experts to acquire their knowledge to provide swift medication for dengue patients, he added.
“We’ve been working to destroy the breeding ground of aedes and monitoring the situation round the clock,” he said, adding that the two city corporations have to play effective roles.
Manikganj, Aug 30 (UNB) - With the decrease in Padma water level, the river bank erosion has turned acute devouring 11 educational institutions and over 200 houses at Dhulshura union in Harirampur upazila of the district.
Many homesteads here also stand threatened by the devastating river erosion but the local Water Development Board remains unmoved, locals alleged.
Dhulashura Union Parishad Chairman Jahid Khan said even his own home is at stake due to the erosion, and no action is being taken to repel it. “Unless steps are taken, schools, madrassas, mosques and other buildings will soon disappear in the Padma,” he said.
Affected people were seen moving for safe shelters with their belongings while many have taken shelter in their neighbours’ and relatives’ houses.
Dhulashura Syednagar Government Primary School has already disappeared in the river while Syednagar Government Primary School in Harirampur is currently under threat.
District Primary Education Officer Nilufa Rahman said 11 educational institutions have so far been destroyed by the erosion.
Executive Engineer of Water Development Board (Manikganj) Mahbub-e-Mawla Md Mehedi Hasan said there has been no fund allocation to fight the erosion, although Tk 20 lakh was received as part of emergency measure to save Syednagar Government Primary School.
“Sand bags will be dumped across a110-metre area to save the school,” he added.
Naogaon, Aug 30 (UNB) – The government is building 211 disaster-resilient houses for the people who have lost their homes to natural disasters, including river erosion, in the district.
The goal is to provide roof over the heads of the poor, divorced and physically challenged people, and destitute freedom fighters.
The project was taken on humanitarian ground with funding from KABITA (Kajer Binimoye Taka) and TR (Test Relief) of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.
Mahbubur Rahman, project implementation officer (PIO) of Sadar upazila, said 20 houses will be built in Sadar upazila, 24 in Porsha, 23 in Sapahar, 22 in Niamatpur, 21 in Patnitala, 19 in Dhamoirhat, 17 in Badalgachchi, 18 in Mahadebpur, 17 in Manda, and 15 each in Raninagar and Atrai.
The 10-sqf brick houses will use corrugated iron-sheet on the roof. Their doors and windows will be made of wood. A kitchen and a sanitary latrine will be attached to each house, Rahman said.
Each house will cost Tk 2,58,531. “The government will give the houses free to provide shelter to persons with disabilities,” he said, adding that the project was taken in 2018-2019.
Aleya Bewa, 50, a physically-challenged woman from Namanurpur village in Sadar upazila, is one of those who will be provided accommodation.
“I’ve been living in a dilapidated hut for as long as I remember,” she said. “I’d like to live the rest of my days in peace.”
Abdul Jabbar, 75, a beggar from Fatehpur village in Sadar upazila, said he had to live on the street for a long time. “I’m happy that the government is building a new house on my land. I hope I’ll live the rest of my life happily with my family in the new house,” he said.
Fiti, 70, a peanut vendor of Porsha upazila, said he did not have any relative. “I’ve been living a very difficult life in a thatched house on my land. The house being provided by the government will be a palace for me,” he said.
The recipients said they are elated that they are being provided with new houses.
Deputy Commissioner of the district Harun-Or-Rashid said the project was taken to improve the life of the poor and the destitute. The main purpose is to change the lifestyle and develop the living standard of the poor.
“The construction work is almost done,” he said adding, “The houses will be handed over soon to their owners.”
Narayanganj, Aug 28 (UNB) – Rivers and water bodies that dot Bangladesh are not only major sources of fish but also provide livelihood for the low-income rural families.
Hundreds of women at Satvaiapara and Ramganj villages in Sonargaon municipality have come out of poverty by making fishing traps from bamboo, locally called ‘Chai’.
The demand for ‘Chai’ goes up in the rainy season. The traps are specially made for catching prawns.
During a visit to Ramganj village in Boidyerbazar union, the UNB correspondent saw women handling household chores and knitting ‘Chai’. “It’s a very common sight in the area,” one of the residents said.
Manindra Chandra Das, a male craftsman of Satvaiapara, said women are contributing financially to their families by making the fishing traps.
“They knit ‘Chai’ round the year but they get really busy during the rainy season when the demand is at its highest,” he said.
Manindra said fishermen from Patuakhali, Faridpur, Cumilla, Munshiganj, Barishal, Chattogram, and Chandpur come to collect good quality fishing traps from Narayanganj.
A small ‘Chai’ costs about Tk 100 while the middle-sized ones are sold at Tk 250-300. Big fishing traps, on the other hand, cost Tk 2,000 to Tk 4,000 a piece.
But things are getting tough for the artisans.
Dina Sarkar, a successful craftswoman, said they use ‘Mulibash’ for the fishing traps. “Each piece of ‘Mulibash’ used to cost between Tk 20 and Tk 25. But now they cost Tk 110-130 per piece,” she said.
Sarkar described how they are holding on to the art of their forefathers despite hardships.
“We’re continuing the job by taking loans from moneylenders but it’s becoming tough for us,” she added, urging the government to help save the profession.
Sonargaon Upazila Nirbahi Officer Anjon Kumar Sarkar said the administration will help keep the profession alive and provide livelihood to local women.