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Bangladesh: Bird flu takes heavy

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  • Bangladesh: Bird flu takes heavy

    Bird flu takes heavy toll on them

    Rashidul Hasan

    Employees of Bibi Ayesha (R) Women Training and Production Programme (BAWTP) in Jirani Bazar in Gazipur burst into tears when they heard that 3,212 chickens and 30,702 eggs of the poultry farm would have to be killed and destroyed since those were bird flu infected.

    They fear the uncertainty that has come upon their livelihood, as the farm, which is under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, was their main source of income.

    "We have not received our salaries from the government in the last two years," said Salma Akhter, hostel matron of the BAWTP, where two hundred trainees are trained for computer, poultry, fishery and dairy skills every year.

    "What will be the fate of our training and study?" trainees of BAWTP asked while crying in front of this correspondent.

    "We do not know whether the supplier would supply food and other materials to our training centre after hearing about this [the chickens having bird flu]," they feared.

    The staff of the farm played a major role in setting it up in 1972, a source said.

    "All expense of keeping the staff at BAWTP as well as the expense of trainees came from the sale of chickens in the farm," BAWTP sources said.

    "We have not received our salaries in two years, its the farm that kept us and our families alive," said Abdul Khaleque, a BAWTP worker.