Feature: Bangladesh boat bazaar abuzz with sales amid flooding

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-01 21:16:26|Editor: Wu Qin
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A man rides a horse-drawn cart carrying boats for sale at a market in central Bangladesh's Manikganj district on July 31, 2019. Water transportation is still an important means of communication in Bangladesh where traditional country boats and small vessels are still in use to provide cheap and convenient transport. (Str/Xinhua)

MANIKGANJ, Bangladesh, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Sale of Bangladesh's traditional wooden boat is bustling these days as continuous flooding has been spuring demand.

Hundreds of hand-made wooden boats were seen lined up for sale at a market in central Bangladesh's Manikganj district, some 63 km northwest of capital Dhaka.

About a half-century old, this market of dinghy (small boat) in Manikganj has been abuzz with buyers and sellers as the demand for various types of small-sized boats are on the rise amid widespread flooding in parts of the country.

In parts of riverine Bangladesh, water transportation is an important means of communication for the whole year to provide cheap and convenient transport.

Prabir Mondal is a seasonal boat trader in Manikganj's boat market. Mondal, who procures boats at wholesale prices from neighboring Tangail district, said he earns to 800 taka profit from sale of a boat.

"Sometimes, I have to incur loss up to 500 taka on sale of a boat," he said.

This year business is quite different, he said, adding he already sold 300 boats this year as there is huge demand in the wake of massive flooding in parts of the country.

"In total, I earned so far 70,000-80,000 taka profit. This time the boat business is good. I have spent more money for my children."

Octogenarian Hiralal is also very happy this season. "I have been doing boat business for about 50 years in this place. I bring boats from Nagarpur Hat (market) in Tangail district. My business is good. I have devoted my life doing wooden boat business and managed expenses for my children's education. I built a good house in my village."

Even though he is very old now, he does not want quit this business. "I have still been doing this though not in a big way. When there is no flood, I work on the farm."

Many buyers were also seen thronging the market.

Md. Tajul Uddin, a boat buyer, said floods triggered by heavy rains have inundated his entire village. "I bought this boat for 5,000 taka so that my kids can go to school."

He said flood waters submerged many roads as situation deteriorated. He said they used to experience flooding to some extent almost half of the year. "Children's exams are nearing. So I have to buy this boat."

Md. Delwar Hossain who has also bought a boat for 2,500 taka for fishing said the boat market is quite famous across the country as there are many different types of boats.

He said he needs first to fix holes in several places of the boat with glue and make sitting arrangement, then it will be ready for use, he said. (1 U.S.dollar equals to about 84 taka)

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