Flood: Hat-bazar in Tangail

Flood affected 52,000 people in 58 villages, 8 unions of Delduar Upazila in 2017. Flood water entered quickly in the villages from the Dhaleshway river, and its innumerable tributaries. In addition there was heavy rain. The farmers could not anticipate anything about the un-expected heavy rain and the flood. Elashin, Dewli and Lauhati unions are closely covered by the rivers. Flood water entered into other villages and unions.

The farmers of Delduar upazila are not only self contained in food grains but also they supply the surplus to Dhaka and other districts around. The crops in the field have been affected by the flood, likewise the poultry birds, farms, fish ponds, homestead areas, livestock farms, varieties of vegetables and the street vendor households have been badly affected. The crops in 528 hectares have been totally damaged and crops in 2150 hectares have been partially affected. The local traders have been collecting food items from other areas and supplying in different hat bazars of the locality. But the transport system was damaged by the flood. Roads of 142 kilometers were partially damaged. Five culverts and bridges were totally damaged.

The traders of Lauhati, Korotia bazar, Katuli pouro bazar, Dewli and Silimpur had to shift their goods elsewhere in order to saving those from the flood damage. Rice, pulses, vegetables, milk and other daily essentials were being sold on the roads at higher elevation. The weekly markets for cattle, goat, poultry, etc were held in higher places. Transport cost for carrying goods from one place to another was increased due to the flood. Thus the cost of the essential items was also increased. On the other hand the farmers faced problems for selling their farm produce. In most cases the people have to use boat for moving from one place to another.

Street foods including chanachur, jilapi, cake, jhalmuri were being sold in the road sides. Many street vendors could not prepare and cook their food items as because their homes were flooded. Cake and bread shops used to operate temporarily on the weekly market day before the flood. Such shops are now closed due to flood. In fact, there is very limited activities on weekly hat days.

Mohammad Abul Kalam, Vegetable trader:

I have been selling vegetables at Delduar bazar and hat for last seven years, mentioned Mohammad Abul Kalam. I collect vegetables from the local farmers for selling in the market. The vegetables produced by the local farmers sell at higher price compared with those available in the ware house imported from other areas. Vegetables grown by the local farmer have been inundated due to flood. Even the homestead areas of the farmers have also been inundated. They have difficulties even to live in their homes. There are a few farms whose houses could escape inundation by flood. Small quantity of vegetables collected from those farmers are offered for selling.

In addition the vegetables procured from the warehouse in Tangail are also offered for selling here. Good vegetables are not available anywhere because of the flood. The price is very high for everything. The vegetables are not at all attractive.

Mohammad Alek Mallik, Fuska and Chatpati Seller:

I have been selling fuska and chatpati for last five years, mentioned Mohammad Alek Mallik. I have been running my family extenditure with whatever the income I earn from this business. At present my home has been inundated in the flood. The roads have been inundated. In some places the roads are broken. The van used for carrying fuska and chatpati is difficult to pull. So I had to sit idle at home for some days. I was compelled to come out. This is because there is shortage of essential items at home. Moreover, the creditor agent will come for collecting instatement. I have come out for selling chatpati for repaying the debt. The flood has engulfed the whole area. There is limited movement of people. I have very few customers for selling chatpati.

Mohammad Palash, Street Food Vendor, Delduar, Tangail:

I sell street food including gaja, badam tana, khaja, Fuska, Murali, etc. I have difficulty in preparing food items. I have to collect fire wood from long distance for cooking. The price of ingredients has increased. Transport cost has also increased. But there a few customers for buying my products. The movement of people have reduced due to flood. Before flood I used to sell 60-70 kg per day. The sale has reduced to only 30 – 35 kg a day.

The upazila parishad, hospital, the upazila administration, sanitary inspector have been working in collaboration for serving the people, suffering due to flood. The hospital emergency is open for 24 hours for attending the patients affected by diarrhea, dysentery, gastro-intestinal problems and fever. The upazila parishad has established the markets at high places at road sides. The Sanitary Inspectors have been monitoring the markets so that no unhealthy food items are traded there. Food safety has been ensured in the hotels, sweet meat shops, street food, fish and meat markets. Effective measures have been taken for ensuing safe dealing of essential items.

Report prepared by: Rabiul Islam Chunnu

Date: 23/08/2017

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