Community action saves crops and lessens dependency on Tanguar Haor resources

02 May 2012 | Article

Damage of crops due to early flooding is a concern each year for the Tanguar Haor community, who risk losing all their crops (paddy) sometimes just 7-10 days before harvesting.  Almost  12.5 % of Tanguar Haor’s land that dries up in winter is used for rice cultivation; the cultivated land is characterized by high yielding capacity for its fertility. It is estimated that total rice harvested per season is worth a minimum 30 million Taka. Unfortunately though for the past three years, Tanguar Haor farmers have been unable to harvest their crop as their crops have been completely damaged by earlier floods.  This however all changed this year when the community people, empowered to save their land, took action into their own hands.

The cultivable area, the south-eastern part of Tanguar Haor is surrounded by an embankment and the three points along the embankment are broken every year during monsoon. The passages created at the broken points are used in the water ways as a communication measure for the Haor people. The same points are also used as outlets and inlets for Tanguar Haor water. Each year flash floods from the river enter Tanguar Haor through these inlets and causes damage to the crops and creates havoc for the livelihoods of the Tanguar Haor community.

Faced with these challenges each year, the Tanguar Haor community has come together to repair and rebuild the broken parts of the embankment in an effort to protect their crops. With the warning of north-wester storms and an early rise in water levels, the community repaired the embankment at three points with their own resources.

This self imposed action and resourcefulness by the community has not only saved their crops but enabled them to harvest their produce for millions of taka and subsequently reduced the communities dependency on limited Tanguar Haor resources, such as fish.
 


Deer are common in the Sundarbans.