Friday, October 30, 2020 | ePaper

'Allocate budget, formulate strategy to tackle annual embankment damage'

  • Print
UNB, Dhaka :
The tragedy of cyclones and consequent floods and embankment damage is an annual saga in Bangladesh. This year was no exception. But what's lacking is a sustainable embankment and river management policy, say policymakers and experts, as they have urged the Bangladesh government to allocate an emergency budget for repair of embankments across the country in the wake of damage by Cyclone Amphan.
In fact, the clarion call for a long-term approach to tackle embankment damage came from none other than MP Saber Hossain Chowdhury, the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at a virtual seminar on Saturday.
"Due to lack of sustainable embankment and river management policy, the country faces huge financial losses every year as money is spent on embankment repairs.
We need a long-term plan to tackle the problem as well as an integrated approach by engaging with ministries that are related with water and river management directly or indirectly," he said.
Saber Hossain was the chief guest at the seminar, titled 'Demand Emergency Budget Allocation in Upcoming Dry Season to Embankment Repair & Maintenance', was organised by non-government organisations, COAST Trust and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL).
Arif Dewan of COAST Trust, on his part, said the latest Cyclone Amphan and consequent floods had damaged around 600km embankments across the country, thus causing losses to the tune of BDT 75 billion to the state exchequer. "In this context, emergency repair is needed in the upcoming dry season to avoid further devastation, he said.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the chairman of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), who chaired the seminar, however, said that the country has a plan. "But it has never been the priority. We need an all-party parliamentary group to give a nod for an embankment management strategy. That might show results," he said at the seminar.
Moderated by Rezaul Karim of COAST Trust, others who attended the seminar included Talukdar Abdul Khaleque, the Mayor of Khulna City Corporation, Asheq Ullah Rafiq, Cox's Bazar-2MP,Nurunnabi Chowdhury, MP of Bhola-3 constituency, Md Monowar Hossain Chowdhury, Gaibandha-4MP.
Talukdar Abdul said that waterlogging is mainly caused by river siltation but embankment failure has been escalating the issue. "So the government should consider both issues as a long-term solution," he said.
MP Dhirendra Nath Shambhu, on his part, has called for ensuring transparency and accountability of the Water Development Board in case of implementation at least. He has also recommended the fund on an emergency basis for repairing the damaged embankments in the upcoming dry season.
MP Monowar Hossain said that siltation from upstream rivers are causing the erosion and embankment damage in northern districts. "Planned action on dredging is important to save the people and assets," he said.
Barrister Shamim Patwary MP said that around 5,000-50,000 people are displaced every year due to river erosion and the main cause of increasing poverty in the northern districts. "Current national budget is insufficient and there is a need to increase it, while foreign support for protection of embankments and river erosion can be seen as a long-term solution."
Echoing similar sentiments, MP Asheq Ullah said that due to lack of appropriate design and construction by WDB, embankment doesn't sustain in southeastern coastal areas, especially in Cox's Bazar district and people suffer. "Appropriate embankment design based on the soil structure and geological difference in coastal areas is needed," he said.
Similarly, MP Nurunnabi Chowdhury demanded an effective and sustainable embankment design and implementation to save Bhola district from river erosion as it is situated in the mouth of Bay of Bengal.

More News For this Category

TCB sells commodities like onion, edible oil, potato and few others in view of high prices thereof for the benefit of the poor people. But on Thursday, no TCB truck came. As a result, the consumers' queue was getting large to larger in front of the Jatiya Press Club.

TCB sells commodities like onion, edible oil, potato and few others in view of high prices thereof for the benefit of the poor people. But on Thursday, no TCB truck came. As a result, the consumers' queue was getting large to larger in front of the Jatiya Press Club.

.

Bangladesh Anjuman-E-Talamiz-E-Islamia brings out a protest rally for insulting Prophet Muhammad (Sm) in Sylhet city on Thursday.

Bangladesh Anjuman-E-Talamiz-E-Islamia brings out a protest rally for insulting Prophet Muhammad (Sm) in Sylhet city on Thursday.

.

Bangladesh: Pivotal moment to stop violence against women

News Desk :Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, New York

ACC summons DAG Rupa

UNB, Dhaka :The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday summoned Supreme Court's Deputy Attorney General Jannatul Ferdousi Rupa on charges of colluding with various accused, including expelled Jubo League leader

Old Dhaka residents describe Erfan Selim as 'quiet but a patron of rowdy hordes'

News Desk :Erfan Selim was "not so unruly, but he always had a group of rowdy accomplices on his tail", the residents of Old Dhaka say as the news

Protest against insult of Prophet Mohammad (Sm.) in Sylhet

Sylhet Bureau :Protest against insulting of Prophet Mohammad (Sm.) and Holy Eid-E-Miladunnabi (Sm.) procession with religious fervor and festivity was brought out by Bangladesh Anjuman-E-Talamiz-E-Islamia in Sylhet city on

UK lawmakers file legal case against PM Johnson over Russian interference response

Reuters, London :A group of British opposition lawmakers have filed a legal case against Prime Minister Boris Johnson over what they say is his failure to protect the public's

DIG (Prisons) Bazlur Rashid gets bail

Court Correspondent :A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to DIG (Prisons) Bazlur Rashid in a case filed for accumulating illegal wealth worth Tk 3.25 crore.Judge Iqbal Hossain of the

Uncertainty clouds future of DU-affiliated college students

UNB, Dhaka :Tamim Ahmed wants to become a police officer after completing his master's from Dhaka University. But uncertainty now clouds his road to the future as he is

Minni sent to Kashimpur Jail from Barguna

Our Correspondent :Ayesha Siddiqua Minni, who was sentenced to death in the much-sensationalised Rifat Sharif murder case in Barguna, has been sent to Kashimpur Women's Central Jail.She was shifted