According to the government, 57 unions across 9 upazilas of Kurigram district were inundated by the floods this year.
As a result, around 4 lakh (400,000) people from more than 450 chars in the Brahmaputra, Dharla, Teesta and Dudhkumar basins in the district were affected by the floods.
More than one lakh buffaloes, sheep, goats and more than two lakh chickens along with 60,000 cows were affected in these areas.
During this year’s flood, the loss of livestock alone amounted to Tk 30 lakh in the district. Even though the water receded, the food stored in the houses including 1,466 acres of grazing land in more than 400 chars of the district were completely destroyed.
Shamser Ali Munshi of Ralakatar Char in Jatrapur Union of Kurigram Sadar Upazila, said he has 12 big cows. This time everything including cow feed has gone rotten in the long flood.
“I put some little bamboo on the scaffolding. That too is over. Now I am very worried about getting food for this cow,”
Kalu Mia of Saheber Agla Union Ulipur Upazila said all the grass and crops of the char were destroyed in the long floods. “It has become difficult to feed the cows on their own,” he said.
According to the residents of char areas, even though cattle feed was officially distributed in the char areas, most of the cattle owners are not getting these. Some of them are borrowing money to buy cattle feed from the market at a high cost to save food for domestic animal.
However, Additional Animal Resources Officer of the district Dr Md Maqbool Hossain said that assistance was provided to the cattle owners in the flood-hit areas through various initiatives including distribution of cattle feed.
He said about 1 lakh cattle and 2 lakh chickens in 9 upazilas of Kurigram district have been affected by the floods.
“We have received an allocation of TK 12 lakh from the Ministry of Disaster Management through the district administration and it has been distributed as cattle feed,” Maqbool said.
Even then, the government has announced an incentive package to prevent any damage to these cattle in the post-flood period. The incentive money will be paid through their mobile accounts by collecting the information of the affected farmers within a month.
The helpless flood-affected people of the district expected that the government will come forward with food aid to the flood-affected people of the char areas as well as necessary food aid to their cattle.