Bangladeshi flood victims in shelters start to return home

As the flood receding, plenty of marooned people, who lived sub-human life in shelter camps, in Bangladesh's central Manikganj district, are returning to their homes and remaking their damaged houses.

Bangladeshi flood victims in shelters start to return home

As the flood receding, plenty of marooned people, who lived sub-human life in shelter camps, in Bangladesh's central Manikganj district, are returning to their homes and remaking their damaged houses.

"We live almost a gypsy like life. We moved to the shelter camps with our cattles during the flood and we returned to our homes four days ago," Bashed Ali Sikder, a man of around 55, told Xinhua Wednesday.

Sikder's family and their neighbors who took shelter in Tewta primary school in mainland of Manikganj, have just returned to their homes at Alokdia Island in the middle of Jamuna river, one of Bangladesh's three major rivers.

"Now we will remake our houses with whatever we have," Sikder said. All the houses of the islands went under water and so damaged. About six to seven thousand landless people live in a few small islands in Jamuna river.

In Manikganj district, 45 km northwest of capital Dhaka, nine people were killed and 635,964 people were affected by the flood which claimed 481 lives and marooned over 10 million people across the country.

Now in Manikganj, a large proportion of the people in shelter camps are returning to their damaged homes with the retreat of flood waters. Only a few camps was still running in the district.

However, other people who cannot return home are still suffering in shelter camps as relief operation from government has or to be suspended. Nearly 226,000 people still took shelter in 904 shelter centers across the flood-hit country.

"How long will I stay away from my lessons? I don't know when we will be able to return to our own shanty," said Mariam, a girl of class nine, who was seen studying in a corner in the shelter camp of Tewta primary school.

Mariam's father is a day laborer and their shanty which was an abandoned house are still under water.

She is among the scores of the people who remain in the school, while about 400 people once lived there are huddling with their animals and poultry birds.

The headmaster of the Tewta primary school said, people who remain in the shelter are leading a hard life as the relief from the government has been suspended since Tuesday and their houses are either still under water or have been totally damaged in the flood.

Amena Begum, a woman of about 30 was seen making bidi, a kind of low cost cigarette, for life in the school.

She said she gets only four taka (70 taka equals one U.S. dollar) for making 1,000 bidi and she can make at best 8,000 bidi a day. Her husband deserted her and remarried. So she has to run for life with her minor daughter with the scanty money.

She had no idea when she would leave the school because her shanty was totally damaged in the flood.

Bangladesh's current flood triggered by incessant rain and the onrush of waters from up-stream has hit 39 of the country's 64 districts. Nearly 60,000 houses have been completely damaged and about 860,000 houses partially damaged across the country.

Agencies

Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 17:07
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