Dhaka, July 22 (UNB) - Stating that the government cannot alone tackle the current flood, Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Monday called for holding a national dialogue to find ways to effectively overcome the natural disaster.
“We face flood due to our geographical position but we need to find ways to minimise it and save people from sufferings and financial losses. I think a national dialogue is necessary immediately in this regard,” he said.
Dr Kamal made the call at a press conference arranged at the Jatiya Press Club by his party on the current flood situation.
He said both the government and the citizens have a role in tackling the flood situation.” I call upon the government let’s sit together and work out action plans to tackle the situation with united efforts.”
The Gonoforum chief, however, alleged that the government cannot tackle the flood situation involving people as there is no effective democracy in the country. “But we all need to make our efforts to control the flood situation.”
Dr Kamal, also the convener of Jatiya Oikyafront, said people should be more active and organised to resolve the country’s problem.
“There’re some issues like flood that should be considered from the national point of view. We should come forward rising above parochial political interest to assuage public sufferings and stand beside flood victims,” he added.
Sought reasons why Jatiya Oikyafront is reluctant to come forward to tackle flood, Dr Kamal said the alliance was formed with some political parties ahead of the election on political consideration.
“But, I think, people’s unity, not the Jatiya Oikyafront, is important to tackle it (flood).” The unity of not only a few parties, but also that of all parties and people is necessary to overcome the situation,” he observed.
Replying to another question about the existence of Oikyafront, Dr Kamal said the alliance’s main focus is on the election and they will continue to work to reach their objectives regarding the national election.
Gonoforum executive president Prof Abu Sayeed alleged that the government is staging a farce in the name of relief distribution among the flood victims.
He said a team of their party, led by its presidium member AMSA Amin, is carrying out relief activities in Kurigram where the government could not send relief materials, including food, medicines and pure drinking water, to many remote areas.
“Around 70.8 percent people in Kurigram are living under the poverty line. But the government has allocated Tk 1.12 and 66 gram rice for each of 12 lakh flood victims in the district over the last one and a half weeks. It’s nothing but a farce in the name of relief,” the Gonoforum leader said.
Sayeed, also a former Awami League minister, alleged that the government is reluctant about standing beside the flood-hit people with necessary support to assuage their sufferings.
He alleged that the flood-affected people are being forced to pay toll to stay on the flood-control embankments while their belongings and cattle are being snatched.
Sayeed placed their party’s six-point demand, including immediately ensuring safety and shelter, adequate food, pure water, medicine and treatment for the flood victims, forming relief committees involving people for ensuring transparency and accountability in relief distribution, taking prompt steps to send relief materials to char and remote areas, and announcing the badly affected areas as disaster ones.
Besides, the party said, it is necessary to take an effective regional initiative by Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan and China to resolve water-related problems, ensure effective river management and control flood.