Dhaka 22 June 2016. Today in a roundtable jointly organized by the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoF&E and COAST Trust in the conference room of Parliament Media Center, titled “Climate Change Impact, Recent Cyclone and Save Coast” around 35 coastal Member of Parliaments (MP) said that they need embankment to protect coastal people, lands and livelihoods, not relief, this is also the number one demand from the local people.
The round table Chaired by Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoF&E; Chief Guest of the Roundtable was Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Minister Water Resource; other key speakers of the roundtable were climate expert Dr Atiq Rahman, Sajahan Kamal MP, Talukder Abdul Khaleque MP, Ex Minister KM Jahangir MP, Mrs Jebunness MP, Ashiq Ullah MP, Nahim Newaz MP, Nabi Newaz MP, Rahim Ullah MP, Nuurn Nabi Shaon MP, Tipu Sultan MP, Mohammed Elias MP, Shamsuddoha of CPRD and Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust. Key note presentation was given by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust.
In his key note presentation, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust said that, almost all coastal districts or around 17 % of total land of the country will go under water by next 50 to 100 years due to the impact of climate change, but there are technology by which the coastal areas coul’d be saved, but it needs huge investment and political will. Critical infrastructure to protect people should also be a priority along with the infrastructure needed for growth. Around 28 % of total population of Cox’sbazar district were affected by cyclone Roanu which is the highest in country, among the migrated people due to the cyclone the highest i.e. 8 % is from the district, He said that worst impact is in Kutubdia Island are where saline water sets into 3 unions out of 6 unions twice every day.
Tipu Sultan MP said that if coastal lands are not protected we will not be able to sustain our food self-sufficiency. Ashik Ullah MP said that, water development board must sit with coastal MPs to prepare planning and projects in this regard. Sajahan Kamal MP said that all the coastal MPs must approach Honorable Prime Minister for special allocation and planning for coastal area. Jebunnesa MP also said even she cannot go to her area, because people always said that, they do not want to beg, they need embankment. Nabi Newaz MP said that river erosion and tidal surge impact equally both to the poor and rich. Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, the Minister of Water Resources said that like Netharland Bangladesh can also save its coastal land, where Bangladeshi coastal lands are not under sea level they are above the sea level, but government cannot alone do the job with its resources, development partners need to come forward with resources and technology. Dr Atiq Rahman of BCAS said that in respect of climate change adaptation, our government must make embankments to protect coastal people on priority basis.
In conclusion the Chair of the roundtable, Dr. Hasan Mahmmud, said that he construction of embankment and coastal forestation has to be integrated; finance Minister needs to consider more allocation to water development board, he also emphasized that water development board must take new approach in this regard. Last Edited 20 March 2017