Chairman of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) Begum Akhter Jahan has said palm trees absorb lightning saving human lives alongside giving food and nutrition.
"Palm trees act as a natural disaster prevention tool, especially in open areas where many farmers are killed by lightning. If there are palm trees, it is possible to reduce the death rate due to lightning," she said.
She made the observation while virtually launching sowing of 3,000 palm seeds in five districts of greater Rangpur marking the Sheikh Russel Day on Monday as the chief guest.
The palm seeds were sowed under the 'Expansion of irrigation in greater Rangpur district through best uses of surface water and conservation of rainwater (EIR)' project of BMDA to increase the density of palm trees for reducing risks of natural disasters.
She virtually launched the palm seed sowing programme at Chatra Canal in Pirganj upazila and Damudar canal in Badarganj upazila of Rangpur and on the bank of the river Dharla at Sheikh Hasina Dharla Bridge point in Kurigram districts.
Additional Chief Engineers of BMDA at its Head Office, its Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers and Assistant Engineers from five districts of greater Rangpur participated in the virtual programme. The BMDA Chairman said 12,500 palm seeds would be sowed in all 16
northern districts marking the Sheikh Russel Day this year.
"Palm is a very useful fruit tree in Bangladesh. Many palm trees could be seen in villages in the past when palm trees were places of refuge for birds. Palm tree is a symbol of our self-confidence and culture," she said.
Similarly, palm trees are an
important issue in agriculture. From palm leaves, hand fans and rugs are being made.
"The palm trees act as thunderbolt insulations," she said, adding that palm juice is very sweet and different kinds of cakes are made from palm juice.
"However, the desired expansion of palm trees did not happen. So why, we have taken initiatives to plant palm seeds and saplings as a continuous process," she added.
Project Director of the EIR project and Superintending Engineer of BMDA for Rangpur Circle Engineer Habibur Rahman Khan said palm trees not only provide food and
nutrition, but act as a disaster prevention tool.
"Therefore, we have to plant more palm saplings also to reduce the number of deaths from lightning and make Bangladesh enriched with palm crop," he said.
Engineer Khan said sowing of 3,000 palm seeds completed today in five districts of Rangpur, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Gaibandha in greater Rangpur marking the Sheikh Russel Day.