Sunday, April 21, 2024

Trees on 50 acres lost in 5yrs

Sohrab Hossain

The Shuvo Sandhya Beach in Barguna’s Taltali upazila has been facing serious erosion by the Bay for the last couple of years.

Due to continuous erosion by the Bay, nearly 50 acres of forestland close to the beach and about 60,000 trees have already been washed away in the last five year.

Meanwhile, due to destruction of the natural beauty of the beach, the number of tourists has decreased significantly in the recent years.

Shuvo Sandhya Beach was built on the shores of the Bay of Bengal in southwest of Taltali upazila headquarters in 2010. Later, forest department planted over one lakh trees of different species, including Jhau, on 125 acres of land in an attempt to protect the nearly 6-kilometre-long beach from being washed away by the tidal surges.

But due to tidal surges caused by the rough waves of the sea, the beach area as well as vast forestland are gradually decreasing every year.

Since 2018, at least 60,000 trees on nearly 50 acres of forestland on the beach area have either been washed away or died due to continuous erosion by the Bay.

Moreover, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) built a brick road, which connects the beach, to facilitate tourists’ movement, but a major portion of the road has already been lost to the sea.

During a recent visit to the beach area this correspondent saw hundreds of dead trees are lying scattered across the beach.

Abu Hena Mostafa, a student at Patuakhali Science and Technology University, said there were many types of trees, especially a beautiful Jhau garden, when he first came here in 2015.

But, due to continuous erosion by the Bay the beach has lost its attraction now, he added.

Moniruzzaman, Range Officer at Taltali Forest Department, said afforestation was started by planting 12,000 Jhau trees in 2013-14 fiscal year.

Later, large gardens were developed by planting various mangrove species of trees along the beach in to prevent soil erosion.

But the erosion has washed away at least 60,000 trees in the last five years. He said they have a plan to plant 50,000 more trees on the beach.

Article originally appeared on The Daily Star.

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