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“Kal Baishakh storm inflicts alarming damage”        
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“Kal Baishakh storm inflicts alarming damage”        

Atikul IslamAn unusually violent version of an annual storm prompted Atikul Islam, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Bogra in Bangladesh, to look at climate change and the value of trees.

The Kal Baishakh storm is a seasonal storm in Bangladesh. In the time ahead of the first Bangla month of Baishakh, the Kal Baishakh storm strikes regularly due to the monsoon air.

This year, the storm has struck hard against big trees, with most of the big trees in Bogra district region being hit by the storm. Many old banyan trees, mango trees, jackfruit trees and other trees have been ripped out by their roots. The top parts of many trees have been broken.  One mango tree in the yard of my house has been ripped out and two jackfruit trees have been broken. The top halves of the two trees have had branches broken and leaves stripped. Yet some jackfruits are still existing within the broken trees.

Houses that are made with tin or bamboo have been damaged. Some concrete walls have been broken down. A number of schools, colleges, madrasah and institutions that are poorly constructed have been broken down.

Electricity was disconnected in the storm-affected area for some days, as electricity poles and other transmission equipment was damaged. People suffered with no electricity connection for some days, as they cannot use electric freezers, fans, or lamps for their normal livelihood.

Some people died when their poorly-constructed houses collapsed. Some have also been injured. Many poor people have lost their houses and household wealth, and have now become extremely poor.

People should take precautions to secure their homes, household wealth and themselves before the Kal Baishakh storm period. Those who live in poorly-constructed houses of bamboo or tin should take shelter in concrete or strongly-constructed houses during the storm.

Though the damage of the storm is comparatively less than the damage of a flood, river bank erosion, or tidal wave, it harms people every year. Some people say that the Kal Baishakh storm of this year is more harmful than others of the decade.

I saw how the storm struck this year. The tall mango tree at my house was shaking rapidly, and at last the tree was ripped out along with its root. Most of the big trees in my neighbouring area have been broken. The tin siding and bamboo roofs of some houses have been blown away with storm.

Fortunately the storm does not do harm to the paddy crops. But it harms the big trees as well as the natural environment of the country.

Trees are the main element of the natural environment of the earth. Trees give us oxygen that is a basic need for human life on earth.  If trees are broken and ripped out due to Kal Baiskakh every year, our country will face severe environmental imbalance. Trees give us fruits, fuel, and wood that are needed for our healthy livelihood. They also save houses from cyclones and disasterous river bank erosion.

Trees take in carbon dioxide. Increasing carbon dioxide in the air is the main cause of global warming. It is an urgent need for conscientious Bangladeshi people to plant more and more trees to ensure a healthy environment. After such a storm, providing relief to the most vulnerable people is needed, but awakening people to the need to plant more trees is also a step in recovery from the disaster.

Increasing carbons and other gases in the air harms the ozone layer and increase the temperature of the earth. Climatologists and other authorities need to focus their concern to find out if climate change has an impact on the intensity of  a seasonal storm like Kal Baishakh. Climate change is not only an issue for Bangladesh. All of the countries of the world, especially the industrialized first world countries, are emitting carbons and other gases that are changing the climate of the world. In this way, world stakeholders have also responsibility to reduce the climate disaster.

photo credit: Uprooted Tree via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a youth researcher and writer on different social, political and economic development issues. My aim is to serve my nation and abroad through research work, and to continue my research as a university or college lecturer.

I am founder of an online think-tank named Center for Strategic Analysis, where I work as a researcher and editor. Our vision is to lead the knowledge society through strategic analysis.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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