December 8, 2021, 5:53 am

FT Online

2020-01-12 16:37:59 BdST

Civil Society demands decentralized budgetary resource for Embankment Repair & Maintenance Local govt

Today 12 January 2020, in a seminar, civil society organizations and climate networks have urged government to decentralize budgetary resource for sustainable Embankment repair & management to climate resilient. They also demand to involve local government process and community engagement for effective management & maintenance of embankment that’s already proofed as low cost, save public resource and sustainable in long term perspective.


Seminar is chaired by Dr. Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed (Chairman-PKSF), moderated by M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director of COAST Trust and Key note presented by Mr. Arif Dewan from same organization. The seminar also participated by Advocate Faridul Islam Chowdhury, Chairman Kutudia Upzila, Md. Sahiduddin, Chairman-Barghop Union, Kutubdia, Md. Abdur Rouf-Chairman Kasimari Union, Shamnagar, Khulna, Mr. Asik Elahi-President Climate Forum, Shamnagar, Md. Rafiqul Alam and Shamsul Islam from Hatya and Swandip. Apart many CSOs from grassroots and climate network form different corner form coastal areas spoke on the issues.


Presenting the key note, Arif Dewan said that, lack of essential embankment, people lose their livelihood opportunities in coastal areas and migrating to the cities that creates burden. He also criticize that despite WDB (Water Development Board) is a responsible authority for constructing coastal embankment but hardly aligned their mandate addressing the climate change needs and protecting coastal people. He demand a decentralized WDB process at least that ensure i. A reportable relationship with district administration for their work and accountability, ii. Wider and non-partisan community participation process in planning, implementation and maintenance and iii. Budget should be allocated directly to district, upazila and even union level. So that local authorities will be capable for instant decision making and implementation.


Mr. Asik Elahi said that the pattern and cause of embankment damage is different base on the location in coastal belt east and west part and need to take plan and action accordingly. He demand to form “Coastal development Board” for better coordination to construction and maintenance of embankment.


Shahiduddin Chairman said that embankment design and planning are preparing centrally based on just hydrological study that has hardly relation with local situation and demand of local people. It should change and need to prepare with community participation as they have appropriate knowledge besides the study.


Advocate Faridul Islam said, we experiencing community engaged embankment management and maintenance as very low cost and instant implementation whereas WDB maintenance especially their tender and contracting approach is very complicated and uncertain timing for implementation. So that WBD shouldn’t keep the maintenance issue to their hand and need to delegate to local government authorities.


Md. Rafiqul Alam opine to WDB weakness of improper maintenance that causes suffering people due to reducing height of embankment and prolonged water logging in the different part of coastal areas. He urged to address the issue and request to design the embankment participatory and appropriate height following climate change context.


Dr. Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed said we have done long term plan despite limited resource but better Sectoral coordination needed that will help us to achieve the target. He opine to focus on priorities based on the need in coastal areas.

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