A success story of community movement
Ohidur Rahman from Nertakona
Rivers are the backbone of human civilization. They provide us freshwater which is helpful for various purposes such as irrigation, transportation, drinking, cleaning, washing, etc. Without rivers, life will come to a halt. Therefore, rivers should keep on flowing without any stop. We humans exist because of rivers. Importance of Rivers cannot be stated in just a few words. Unfortunately, most often people don’t realize the impact that rivers have on the living world.
The Mogra is an important river in country’s north-eastern district Netrakona in Bangladesh. It has been formed from Brahmaputra River and flew about 148 kilometers of Netrakona district to empty into a beel (a vast low lying land inundated in monsoon) in Tarakanda upazila in Mymensingh district. As because of water facilities- human settlement, many fisher folks communities, local markets, small industries, educational institutions had been established on both banks. Unfortunately, Mogra had lost its flow due to encroaching, river grabbing, pollution and many other illegal human interventions.
BARCIK has been facilitating the local community those were interested keenly to change the miserable situation and bring back its flow as was before. As a part of campaign BARCIK arranged a three-day-long program in collaboration with local community titled ‘protect the river, save lives’ at the bank of the Mogra River on 27th September, 2014. Not only the fisher folk communities, people from all walks of lives including journalists, nature lover, but elective personnel from local government bodies and activists from foreign countries also participated in the program. In the program, people had one point to demand to honorable upazila chairman just to re-excavate the river for free-flowing. The elected representative made the commitment of river re-excavation that has been implemented five years later in 2019, seven km of the river so far been re-excavated. Now, about 18000 farmers from 11 villages are able to irrigate their cropland, 12 types of local fish varieties are available in Mogra river due to re-excavation work. Apart from this, it has been widened many more opportunities for communities like duck rearing, cattle bathing, open water fish resources, transportation, etc. People living adjacent to the river are happy now.
In Bangladesh, we have the closest relationship with the river from time immemorial. Rivers are not only important for human beings here but also serve a great purpose to the animals and trees as well. As because of the effective campaign and continuous facilitation the community able to fulfill their long-cherished dream.