Rivers of Bangladesh Composition: Bangladesh is a riverine country. In fact, the pride of Bangladesh is her rivers with one of the largest networks in the world. Inspite of being a very small country, Bangladesh has amazingly number of about 700 rivers. These rivers have a total length of about 24,140 km.
River systems of Bangladesh : The rivers of Bangladesh consist of tiny hilly streams, winding seasonal creeks , muddy canals, some truly magnificent rivers and their tributaries . In some places, such as Patuakhali, Barisal and Sundarbans, areas the water courses are so plentiful that they form a veritable maze. However, Bangladesh has predominantly four major river systems –i) the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, 2) the Ganges — Padma, 3) the Surma- Meghna and 4) the Chittagong region river system.
Gifts of rivers : Rivers of Bangladesh have been very important in every sphere of our life. In fact, the rivers of Bangladesh provide life-blood in the circulatory system of Bangladesh.
In civilization : River valleys have been important centres of civilization. In Bangladesh, almost all the cities, towns and commercial centres are located on the banks of rivers. For example, Dhaka on the bank of Buriganga, Natayangonj by the side of Shitalakshya, Chittagong by the side of Karnaphuli and Mymensingh by the side of Brahmaputra.
In agriculture : The beautiful cornfields of Bangladesh are the gifts of her rivers. The rivers bring alluvial soil and make the land fertile. During the dry season, the rivers provide water for irrigation. In this way, both irrigation and manuring are done by the rivers.
A great source of Wealth : Our rivers are a great source of wealth. They are the best home for many kinds of fishes, birds and plants that are rich in food value. Besides, the rivers provide employment for the fishing community.
Important for transport : The history of transportation in Bangladesh starts with water transport. Since Bangladesh is a riverine country, inland water-transport has always been a natural and relatively cheap means of transport here.
Source of energy : Rivers with sufficient water volume, velocity and gradient can be used to produce hydroelectric power. At kaptai, the river Karnaphuli of Chittagong region is being utilized for producing hydroelectricity.
Some demerits : Our rivers have some demerits also. During the monsoon, they sometimes overflow their banks and cause floods. They also change their course washing away towns and villages.
Conclusion : The rivers of Bangladesh play a vital role in the progress and prosperity of the country. It true that sometimes they bring devastation for the people. But long-term planned and determined efforts may help us use these rivers more meaningfully.