FALL 2014

Sangu River’s Contribution of the Livelihood of local People


Tonmoy Paul, Khandokar Mahmudul Hassan & Mohammad Soharab Hossen


This study contributes to understand the dependency of the people of the Sangu River watershed, an eastern hilly river of Bangladesh. Understanding local people’s socio-economic values of wetlands and traditional mechanisms of managing natural resources forms the basis of conserving those in the basin area. A questionnaire survey was conducted to know the livelihood of local people and analyze hydrological data to know the water availability in the river. The study was carried out in different period in the year 2014 and 2015 and includes collection of hydrological data, administration of questionnaires, interviews and focused group discussions. The first stage of this work was to collect a large data set to characterize the nature and agricultural contexts of the Sangu valley watershed. The watershed has a contrasting topography, with mountains upstream and large plains downstream. It experiences high rainfall with a monsoonal pattern and an average of 3031 mm/year. From the hydrograph of monthly average discharge of Sangu River, highest peak flow nearly 165m3/s and lowest was nearly 18m3/s. Sixty one residents were interviewed from five villages in the bank of Sangu River. The study found that Sangu River acts as lifeline of the local people in that area. Farming, transportation, social-cultural values of the local people are mainly depend on Sangu River. These values formed an important premise for conservation. Farming was the main economic activities of the local people. In the month of November to March water flow of Sangu River is reduced and it increased from April. Irrigation and transportation system during the winter season were totally affected as the water flow is reduced