Silent famine is prevailing in the fishing community of river Naf

Muhibbullah Mohib, Staff Correspondent, Barta, Cox’s Bazar


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Hunger has eclipsed the fishermen community of Naf river at Teknaf under Cox’s Bazar. Fishing in the Naf has been banned by the administration on charge of Yaba drug trafficking by the fishermen. The fishermen have been suffering for the last two years. This has also caused the stopping of education of fishermen’s children.

However administration has said that to check drug trafficking and also to check Rohigya intrusion the fishing is banned. But they are making regular correspondences with the ministry to lift the ban.

More than 30 thousand fishermen were depended on fishing in the Naf. But due to handful number of fishermen involved with drug trade, fishing was stopped. For some dishonest fishermen they all are now suffering. Even one fisherman committed suicide after sufferings.

On August 24 of 2017 the administration stopped fishing in the river on charge of Rohigya intrusion and drug peddling. From then the fishermen’s tragic life had began.


Local fishermen claimed that they know no other trait except fishing so what they will do. As a result they have been pushed to a marginal position.

One fisherman Selim told that fishing in the Naf was our only source of survival but this situation has made us victim of injustice. We almost remain unfed or half fed. The question of our wards’ education does not arise in these circumstances. A big burden of debt has fallen on us. Because we had to make loans for our survival.

One female fisherman Lakhkhswari told that we have earned skilled in fishing only since British days. But we did not face such crisis before. Now we are surviving by taking only dry food but not regularly.

Officer in charge of Teknaf police station Pradip kumar Das told Barta that the decision was taken to stop Rohigya intrusion and drug trafficking. But they can catch fish in the sea but they are not doing that.

Additional deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar Md. Ashraful Absar told Barta that to resume fishing in the Naf, letter has been sent to the concerned ministry. After getting reply from the ministry we will soon reopen the river for fishing after discussing with local administration.

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