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The present study was conducted at the Baral river adjacent area of both Charghat sluice gate of Charghat upazila and Baraigram sluice gate of Baraigram upazila under Rajshahi and Natore district of Bangladesh respectively during the period of May
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  International Journal of Research in Applied, Natural and Social Sciences (IJRANSS) Vol. 1, Issue 2, July 2013, 99-110 © Impact Journals IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF SLUICE GATE ON FISHING ACTIVITY, FISHERIES DIVERSITY, RIVERINE HABITABILITY AND LIVELIHOOD STABILITY OF THE FISHERMEN IN THE NORTHWESTERN BANGLADESH ZAMAN   M. A 1 , JEWEL   M.   A.   S 2 , HOSSAIN   M.   Y 3 , PROVHAT   S.   J 4 , JASMINE   S 5 , ALI   M.   M 6  & HOSSAIN   M.   I 7   1,2,3,4,5,7 Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh 6 Faculty of Fisheries, Patuakhali Science &Technology University, Patuakhali, Bangladesh ABSTRACT The present study was conducted at the Baral river adjacent area of both Charghat sluice gate of Charghat upazila and Baraigram sluice gate of Baraigram upazila under Rajshahi and Natore district of Bangladesh respectively during the period of May 2006 to April 2007 aiming to assess the sluice gate impact on fishing activity, fisheries diversity, riverine habitability and livelihood stability of the fishermen implying the gear, catch and environmental assessment survey, in-depth interview and participatory rural appraisal through in situ  observation. The sluice gate impacted the fishing activity of the fishermen reducing or modifying the type, structure and number of gear, emphasizing to use minute meshed gear, restricting species and gear selectivity, increasing fishing effort and intensity and decreasing catch composition under limited operating periods. The sluice gate pessimistically affected the fisheries diversity reducing the type and number of fish species including prawn, decreasing their overall and local status and thrown them miserably in extinct, endangered, vulnerable and threatened position where abundance, availability and breeding of most species dominantly hampered, changed or reduced. The sluice gate created seasonal fluctuations of watered, inundated, ditched and arid condition among aquatic habitat where substituted household, degraded cropland, broken down riverbank and sedimentation built Chars among the terrestrial habitat in the Baral. The sluice gate drastically affected the livelihood stability throw inadequate, insufficient and lower category of all the assets where incapable to full scale use of individual and group fishing and other activities by the fishermen in the Baral river. KEYWORDS :   Baral River, Sluice Gate, Impact, Fishermen, Bangladesh   INTRODUCTION The water management of the Flood Control and Drainage (FCD) systems in Bangladesh which are affected by many problems due to growing demand for better performance, conflicting water uses and inadequate organization and management. The primary objective of the FCD systems is to increase agricultural production, which has been accomplished to a large extent. However, the agricultural needs and hydrological conditions have undergone radical changes. For example, irrigated rice demands careful water management to maximize output. There is a need for integrated water management – this call for the involvement of the community as a prerequisite (Choudhury 2000). Careful water management is required in Bangladesh to get optimal results from the flood control, drainage and irrigation (FCDI) systems, in terms of developing sluice gate and enabling fishermen to achieve a reasonable living. Riverbanks around the reclaimed areas (sluice gate) provide protection against river, or its floods, or against riverbank breakdown. Many inland schemes have field depressions, called Beel (Ali & Schultz 2001). According to the Government of Bangladesh, the primary objective of water management schemes is to increase agricultural production through the provision of one or a combination of FCDI system. The FCDI system’s elements,  100 Zaman M. A, Jewel M. A. S, Hossain M. Y, Provhat S. J, Jasmine S, Ali M. M & Hossain M. I   design criteria, types and characteristics of the FCDI scheme, performance analysis of the FCDI activities and their impacts on agriculture, riverine areas, fisheries production and water management are mentionable in this regards (Ali 2002). The FCDI scheme heavily depend upon dredging, Riverbank, polder and gravity drainage to manage floods, together with the effects of sluice gate, highways and railroads which obstruct the flow of water and in some cases aggravates the flood situation. To reduce the losses from floods as well as to use the surplus water for irrigation purpose, the Bangladesh Water Development Board constructed a number of Riverbanks and sluice gates and dug canals under some major projects like – Ganges Kobadak Irrigation Project, Karnafuli Multipurpose Project, Brahmaputra Right Riverbank Project, Manu River Project, Pabna Irrigation Project, Tista barrage project etc (Chowdhury & Hossain 2006). The Baral river is one of the important offshoots of Padma river at the north-western part of Bangladesh that srcinated on the left bank of the Padma at Charghat upazila proper, almost 2 km south from the Sardah police circle at Rajshahi district and flows in a winding eastwardly course through the southern portion of this district till to passes after  joining with the Atrai-Gumani river through Natore and Pabna district and finally mingles with the Hurasagar river after  joining with the Koratoya river at the south of the Shahjadpur of Sirajgonj district. The Baral river has a total average length of 147 km, width of 125 m, depth of 6 m and drainage area about 230 sq km (Baby 2006). The Baral River receives water about 7 to 8 months (May to December) from the Padma only in the monsoon as watery season and other times (January to April) passed on as dry or off season. But it maintains flow throughout the year with local runoff water, water from Chalan Beel (flood plain) and other canals those are linking with its. Some important places located on the banks of the Baral River are - Charghat, Bagatipara, Baraigram, Gurudaspur, Chatmohor and Bera. The Baral River is also renowned by its fishermen who are living here as ethnic group of fishing community followed by traditional fishing since time immemorial. In most cases fishing is a seasonal and part-time occupation for them. They usually consumed the exploited fishes for their household need and rare in sometime, they sold either to the middlemen of the fish traders on the riverbank after just caught or sold by themselves as a retailer in nearby fish markets or as a mobile seller in rural villages through bicycle or head/shoulder bearing pot. But, when this two sluice gate built over the Baral river, then the large scope of fishing activity decreases day by day and also adversely affect on fisheries diversity, riverine habitability and livelihoods stability in the adjacent sluice gate area. However, there is no such specific literature notably on fishing activity, fisheries diversity, riverine habitability and livelihood stability, but it has potentiality to develop the future plan and progressive way for its fishermen. Therefore, the present study was carried out aiming to assess the sluice gate impact   on fishing activity, fisheries diversity, riverine habitability and livelihood stability of fishermen of the Baral River in Bangladesh. MATERIALS AND METHODS The Baral river has two sluice gates situated at two different places of which - one at Charghat upazila proper of Rajshahi district known as ‘Charghat sluice gate’ and another is at Atghoria village of Baraigram upazila of Natore district known as ‘Baraigram sluice gate’ under the construction of Bangladesh water development board (BWDB) aimed to control flood water from inundation and also hold its excess water for irrigation purposes. The geo-code for the Baral river has latitude 24.3 and longitude 89.1 of which Charghat sluice gate has latitude 24.17 and longitude 88.45 and Baraigram sluice gate has latitude 24.16 and longitude 89.13 respectively (Figure 1). The present study was carried out for a total period of twelve months during May 2006 to April 2007 at the Baral river adjacent area of the mentioned two sluice gates. A total of 50 fishermen (25 from each sluice gate area) were randomly interviewed to collect various types of data for this study purpose. The study was conducted on the basis of both quantitative and qualitative data, comprehensive literature review and extracts of the local knowledge and information supplied by the on spot fishermen of the Baral River during the periods of investigation.  Impact Assessment of Sluice Gate on Fishing Activity, Fisheries Diversity, Riverine Habitability 101  and Livelihood Stability of the Fishermen in the Northwestern Bangladesh   The quantitative data were collected from different secondary sources including fisheries, agriculture, statistics, education, BWDB, youth development, etc official authority in government sectors and BRAC, ASA, TMSS, Proshika, Caritas etc official authority in non-government sectors who were available or existed in both Charghat and Baraigram upazila during the study periods. From these sectors, different field surveyed reports, publications, project works and booklets of recent five years were quantitatively collected to choke out its data related with the present study objectives. On the other hand, it was precisely attempted to collect the qualitative data from the recommendation domain, potential key informant, fishers field school (FFS), household participant or respondent of the fishermen and womenfolk who were the exploiters or catchers in the Baral river around the sluice gate areas. The qualitative data were collected with the visiting schedule through using of different methods and techniques which are includes - gear assessment survey (GAS), catch assessment survey (CAS), environmental assessment survey (EAS), in-depth interview (IDI) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA). All types of data were collected fortnightly from the direct spot through in situ  observation in the Baral River. All of the collected data were accumulated and binded according to the sequence of collection. The processed data were transferred to a master sheet from which classified into different tables were prepared revealing the findings of the study. These data were manipulated or verified to eliminate all possible errors and inconsistencies. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS Cenarios of the Sluice Gate The two sluice gates have been built over the Baral River in the present study area, of which distance between each other is about 30 km. The founder of the both sluice gate is Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). The present scenarios of the two sluice gates are given in Table 1. The sluice gate is a structure built across a stream, river or estuary to store or control water that is usually of two basic types – masonry (concrete made) and riverbank (earth-fill or rock-fill made). A sluice-gate is used to supply water for human consumption, irrigation purpose and industrial use, to reduce peak discharge of floodwater, to increase the volume of water stored for generating hydroelectric power or to increase the depth of water so as to improve navigation that provide professional and recreation activity. Therefore a sluice gate is the central structure in a multi-purpose scheme aiming at the conservation of water resources maintaining water level to controlling by opening and closing gates and acts as the safety valve (Bari 2006; Lin et al. 2002 and Fu et al .  2001). The rapid opening of the sluice gate caused a sudden and significant fall in the upstream water level with the water surface downstream of the gate. The vertical pressure distribution became a hydrostatic pressure at a distance equal to twice the initial upstream water depth. Partial opening of the sluice gate allowed post-turbulent equilibrium water levels of discharge (Yamada 1992). Discharge characteristics for a sluice gate, ranging between the two extreme cases of a side sluice gate and a normal sluice gate have been explored. The behavior of the elementary discharge for large ranges of the upstream water depth to gate opening ratio, tail-water depth to gate opening ratio and skew angle were found (Swamee et al. 2000). The hydraulic characteristics of a side sluice gate were remains constant along with related to the main channel and the ratio of upstream depth of flow to sluice gate opened for free flow (Masoud 2003). Table 1: Comparative Scenarios between Sluice Gate 1 and Sluice Gate 2 Scenarios Sluice Gate 1 Sluice Gate 2 Official name Water regulator Water regulator Local name Charghat sluice gate Baraigram sluice gate Position Charghat Bazar Atghoria village Location About 400 m at northern side of Charghat upazila headquarter and one km at southern side of Sardah police academy, Rajshahi district, Bangladesh. About 10 km at southern side of Baraigram upazila headquarter and about 15 km at northern side of Dayarampur police cantonment, Natore district, Bangladesh. Founder BWDB, Rajshahi. BWDB, Natore.  102 Zaman M. A, Jewel M. A. S, Hossain M. Y, Provhat S. J, Jasmine S, Ali M. M & Hossain M. I   Table 1: Contd., Project name Baral river basin project Baral river basin project Aim/Objectives - To control flood from inundation - To supply water for irrigation - To control flood from inundation - To supply water for irrigation Established (yr) 1984-1985 1995-1996 Regulatory gate (no) 3.0 5.0 Length (m/gate) 1.3 1.5 Height (m/gate) 4.3 3.5 Width (m/gate) 0.6 0.9 Weight (ton/gate) 3.0 4.2 Bridge length (m) 4.0 7.5 Expenditure (Tk) 32.5 millions 42.5 millions Construction (type) Reinforced concrete casting Reinforced concrete casting Gate opened (date) 10 May 10 July Gate closed (date) 20 August 20 September Gate operation (period) 3 Months +/- 10 Days 2 Months +/- 10 Days Gate operator (MLSS) 2 persons (alternative) 1 person (consolidate) Gate repairing (type) Gate fitting, concrete block fitting Gate fitting, concrete block fitting Gate repairing (no) 4-5 times from establish 2-3 times from establish Last repairing (yr) 2001 2000 Riverbank foment (yr) 2004 2003 Riverbank foment (type) 100 millions concrete block fitting (proposed but not found) 100 millions concrete block fitting (proposed but not found) Riverbank foment (Tk) 7.5 millions 7.5 millions Inside outlook Baral river Baral river Outside outlook Padma river Baral river River direction between two sluice gate (place) Charghat Upazila) → Rustompur → Momenpur → Arani → Lukmanpur →  Galimpur → Malanchi → Dayarampur → Atghoria → Baraigram (Upazila). Assessment of Sluice Gate Impact on Fishing Activity The sluice gate negatively or pessimistically affected on the type, structure, construction, operation, number variation, catch per unit effort (CPUE), species or gear selectivity, catch composition etc of the fishing gear operated by the fishermen in the Baral river. Seldom adversely affected to the mesh size, accessibility, fishing intensity and fishing duration or spend time. The major or adverse pessimistic impacts of the sluice gate are mentioned in Table 2. It was found that the relative use and efficiency of fishing gears in the Chandpur irrigation project area during the period from 1977 to 1979. The use of gill nets and cast nets remained relatively constant throughout the entire period of study. The relative efficiency of the different fishing gears for catching fishes showed (Khaleque & Islam 1985) markedly similar to the present study in the Baral River. Assessment of Sluice Gate Impact on Fisheries Diversity The sluice gate optimistically as well as pessimistically affected on the fisheries diversity existed in the Baral River. In most cases, these impacts occurred especially on the species types, species status, seasonal abundance, and breeding period of the fish and fisheries related species caught by the fishermen in the Baral. In the species types, a total number of 260 species of freshwater fishes with 40 species of fisheries related items including prawn should have existed in the river. But in the present evidence, a good number of these species has been extinct or declined. In the species status, the species those existed in the river but now to be had in threatened, vulnerable or in endangered conditions in most cases. Among the total species all were not available in the whole season but only abundant in distinct season and some of them strictly changed their naturally breeding periods. This entire phenomenon occurred due to sluice gate obstacle, riverbed up rise and water crisis in the Baral River. The pessimistic impacts of the sluice gate on the fisheries diversity are attempted to identified and mentioned very briefly in Table 3.  Impact Assessment of Sluice Gate on Fishing Activity, Fisheries Diversity, Riverine Habitability 103  and Livelihood Stability of the Fishermen in the Northwestern Bangladesh   The capture fisheries were also seriously affected by the impact of the Pabna Irrigation and Rural Development Project (PIRDP) Riverbank in Pabna. This has obstructed fish migration and reduced areas of open water habitats for fishes, such as beel, canals and floodplain. It is estimated that the floodplain area has been reduced by 47% (from 11707 to 6208 hectares) and fish production of 75% (from 11082 to 2811 tons) over the period 1984 to 1990. It is also stated that there are 138 villages of fishing communities in the project area. Because of the decline in open water capture fisheries, the number of full time fishermen has fallen while the number of part-times has increased (Anon, 1991). It is reported that the annual catch per unit area (CPUA) from regulated rivers (191 kg/ha) inside the PIRDP were generally found lower than that of unregulated river in the north-west (485 kg/ha) and north-central (321 kg/ha) regions of Bangladesh. Within the PIRDP, values of CPUA varied between sites with the highest value observed at Gangbhanga (177 kg/ha) and the lowest at Alnar (155 kg/ha) beel/flood plain. A total annual number of fish species recorded from low elevation floodplains inside (64 species) scheme was 41% lower than outside (91 species) scheme of the project (FAP-17 1994). A mark-recapture programme at the PIRDP site in north-west Bangladesh showed that Catla catla , Channa striata  and Wallago attu  migrated through the sluice gates, both with and against prevailing currents in different seasons, while the smaller  Anabas testudineus , Glossogobius giuris  and Puntius sophore  did not. Species assemblages were significantly different inside and outside the FCDI schemes, with up to 25 species absent or less abundant inside compared to outside. The majority of these species were large predators or conspicuous members of the highly prized migratory 'whitefish' category, including Silurid catfish, Indian major carps, Mullets and Clupeids. In their absence, species inside FCDI schemes were dominated by much smaller resident 'blackfish' species. Assemblages inside FCDI schemes thus had both reduced species richness and the unit value reduced by up to 25%. It was concluded that FCDI schemes such as the PIRDP negatively affect fish species assemblages and stock values, by reducing the accessibility of impounded floodplains to migrant fish. Though some fish are capable of penetrating existing sluice gates, management measures are required to encourage the passage of more species (Halls et al.1998). The Ganges flood plains contain various types of water bodies (ponds, beel, baor, flooded lands, rivers etc) which total area under water is relatively constant but the areas under flooded lands are gradually declining because of various interventions by humans like Farakka barrage, coastal Riverbank project and FCDI are probable reasons behind fall in capture fishery by 30%, beel fishery by 40%, flood plain fishery by 26% and the combined river and estuarine catch by 31% (Islam et al. 1998). The fisheries resources of the Barnai (FCD) project area found during July 1992 to June 1994 identifying fish and fisheries species, total production of fish catch/ha, annual growth rate, estimated water areas etc before and after the FCD project. About 126 fish and 13 fisheries species have been identified. A good number of fishes such as –  Hilsa ilisha , Pangasius pangasius , Setipinna phasa ,  Nandus nandus , Silonia silondia ,  Bagarius bagarius ,  Eutropiichthys vocha , Channa gachua  and Trygon  sp. are now threatened after the implementation of the FCD project. Exotic carp, Oreochromis  sp., Puntius gonionotus , Clarias gariepinus  etc have been widely cultured in the Barnai project area. The total fish production of the Barnai project area has increased nearly 125 metric tons within 10 years after the commissioning of the FCD project. The production of rivers and canals, beels, flood lands and ponds are 66 kg, 350 kg, 60 kg and 1050 kg/hectare respectively. The annual growth rate of rivers and canals, beels, flood lands and ponds were obtained as 3.5%, 3.2%, 5.1% and 5% respectively. The total annual growth rate of fish of the Barnai (FCD) project area was calculated as 0.5%. However, the annual population growth rate of that area is more than 2%. The total water area of the Barnai (FCD) project area (10900 ha) was estimated as rivers and canals 525 ha, beels 1325 ha, flood lands 7500 ha and ponds 1550 ha (Mortuza et al. 2001).
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