Chapainababganj is a border district of Bangladesh. The local people as well as the people from other districts got shelter and livelihood in this district which is the delta of Padma and Mohananda river. About 20 years ago, a flood victim homeless community from Gaibandha district took shelter in this place of Baroghoria in Chapainababganj which is situated opposite side of a beautiful park and beside the Captain Mohiuddun Bridge. At present they are living in misery due to floor and Covid 19 pandemic.
Abdul Matin said, once I had a home. The riverbank erosion took my everything. Now I am ruined. When I became homeless, I was destructed. So I moved here along with my children. Here I built a new shelter in the Khash land (public property). Now my home goes underwater.
Making a hut in the riverbank, all these flood victims homeless people are living. They are known as floating community. All of them live from hand to mouth. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation, all became jobless, but nobody came to help them. Since their shelters are on low land, all those go underwater during the flood. At that time they take shelter in the road or the nearby school building. Or they have to take shelter in a make-shift made up of plastic. Seldom they can effort one or two meals in a day.
Rashedul Islam said, now we are living in an open field (of C&B) beside the bridge. We faced a big challenge during the Covid 19 pandemic. Due to the flood, we are now living in the school.
Now, this floating community has chosen to beg as their livelihood option. Due to illness, he cannot it now. So he has to sell his only goat due to the prolonged pandemic situation and his illness.
Korinoor Begum said, my house goes underwater, Nobody in my family to work. So I sold my goat for my husband’s medical treatment. At present I am in extreme poverty, we, along with my child cannot survive anymore.
The more days are prolonged with the corona pandemic, the sufferings of the poor people are increasing. The local public representatives are trying their best to help those helpless and jobless people. But there are so many rules and regulations. Since this floating community is not the local people of Chapainababganj, they are deprived of Govt. relief aid as well as other safety net program. At the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic, they got relief Aid only once provided by BGB.
Korinoor Begum said, we have been passing a very hard time during the Covid 19 Pandemic. After that army helped us with rice and pulse.
Aasia Begum said, we used to live from hand to mouth. But we are passing a very hard time during this pandemic. My husband is sick and staying at home. My house was also washed away from the floor.
Tazkir uz Zaman said, each year during the monsoon, or in rising water level, these lowlands go underwater. At the same time, river erosion occurs in some cases. All those areas which came to our knowledge by the local representatives, or by the Govt. officials, we provided them relief aid under the GRA.
To overcome this destructive condition during this pandemic situation, this floating community needs the help of the Governmental and Nongovernmental institutions as well as the help of local representatives. Their collective effort may secure the lives of this floating community.