'Pregnant and living on chira for 3 days'
Manik Mia, a farmer from the Lasukhal area in Companiganj, Sylhet, has been surviving on 2-kilogram chira (flattened rice) for the last three days. And that too with his pregnant wife.
"We have been floating on the water since 14 June [since the previous flood]. During this flood, my house went under 4.5 feet of water," Manik Mia said on Tuesday.
After the floods slightly receded in Sylhet, the floor of his house once again became visible. But it is still wet and slippery all around. The mattresses were lost, and so were all other necessary furniture.
Manik Mia's home became like a floating house with flood water all around. But still, he was resettling into his house.
"Among the four members of our family, my wife and I have returned home, and others are still in the shelter house," Manik said.
Since his wife was pregnant, it was hard for her to stay in the overcrowded shelter centres. "The shelter centres are messy. It is hard even for us to stay there, let alone my wife who is pregnant," he said.
But returning home is also not helping the couple in any way.
"We haven't received any aid from anybody. The day before yesterday [Sunday] I bought 2kg chira for Tk180. We are surviving on that chira now. No union chairman or members came to see how we are living here. No one helped us with anything at all," lamented Manik.
And to add to his list of miseries, mons of rice they had stored in their house had washed away in the flash flood. "All our rice and paddy have been lost in the flood. I had around 16 mons of rice. All are lost," Manik said.
Manik said he wants the Prime Minister to see their sorrow and help them.
"My wife is pregnant. She is struggling through a dangerous situation," said Manik, pleading for some assistance.
'I had 10 cows. They washed away in front of my eyes'
Abu Hurayra, a young man from Telikhal village, was guarding a dozen cows on a bridge on the Sylhet-Companiganj highway. Along with two of his neighbours, he rescued these cows on a boat when the flood inundated their homes. Then he made them a shelter on the bridge.
"When I brought them [cows] to the road, the road was also flooded. Then I made a makeshift terpal [tent] on this bridge. There was nothing else I could do," Hurayra said.
The stranded animals on the highway are suffering from lack of food, just like the human beings in these regions.
"We are feeding them the little hay we could save. But most of it was lost to the floods. And all the grass is also gone," he added.
Abu Hurayra's own circumstance is very challenging, and the state of his cattle is even worse. In reality, however, Hurayra's cattle are among the few lucky ones to have survived the floods.
Muktadir Mia from Chatopar village could not save any of his cattle.
"I had 10 cows and other cattle. I could not save a single one of them. All of them washed away in front of my eyes. I couldn't do anything to save them. I didn't even know if I could save the lives of my own children," Muktadir said, adding "it was a miserable, miserable day."
"With my house destroyed, and cows gone, I have nothing. These cows were like a part of my family. The flood took their life," Muktadir sounded exhausted, burdened with mountainous loss.
Beside him at a rescue centre was a man named Sayem. He said he had two cows he raised to sell for Eid Ul-Adha. But both cows died in the flood.
In the flooded regions, you see the suffering of people and cattle. But other animals like dogs and cats are nowhere in sight on the highways, where most people took shelter.
Did most of the cats, dogs, and other animals perish in the flood?
Kawsar Mia, another man who lost his cattle, cannot worry about animals beyond the ones he owned. "I lost my cattle. Many in our village brought them to safety on the boat. I couldn't even manage a boat and the flood took them away," Kawsar said.