POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Sustainable adaptation and mitigation programme for coastal climate change affected communities
Due to climate change coastal areas are highly vulnerable to various natural disasters leading to salinity intrusion
Mrinal K. Sarkar

Sustainable adaptation and mitigation programme for coastal climate change affected communities

The coast of Bangladesh is consisted of 19 districts, covers more or less 32 per cent of the country and accommodates more than 35 million people.But coastal areas of Bangladesh are most vulnerable to climate change due to sea level rise, salinity intrusion, flooding, increased frequency and intensity of cyclone and storm surge, and increased coastal and riverbank erosion. Super Cyclone ‘SIDR’ in November 2007 and Cyclone ‘AILA’ in May 2009 are recent examples of the extreme events that affected thousands of people, many of whom are women and children, and destroyed livelihood options of millions of coastal people. The extreme climate episodes are affecting different development sectors, such as agriculture, water, coastal resources, health, fisheries, coastal infrastructure and adversely affecting lives and livelihoods, especially of the poor, women and other vulnerable groups of people.

Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP 2009)  and National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA 2005 and revised in 2009) identified coastal areas that are some of the most vulnerable zones in the country and proposed priority adaptation activities for immediate action, including: (i) weather forecasting and warning system; (ii) improving and restoring livelihoods in climate vulnerable areas; (iii) developing climate resilient rice and crop varieties and disseminating them to farmers;  (iv) community based disaster preparedness; (v) strengthening and repairing coastal infrastructure and construction of more multi-purpose cyclone shelter centers; (vi) improving water management system to reduce water logging and saline intrusion in the coastal areas; (vii) extending greenbelt for coastal protection; and (viii) improving field data and climate change modeling at a scale useful for sub-national planning, capacity building and institutional strengthening. A report identified water, coastal resources and agriculture as the highest priority for adaption in Bangladesh in terms of certainty, urgency, and severity of impact, as well as the importance of the source being affected. National Plan for Disaster Management (NPDM) (2008-2015) emphasizes expanding Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program and mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). National Strategy for Accelerate Poverty Reduction II (NSAPR-II) has incorporated CCA with emphasis on agriculture and mainstreaming climate change in national development and planning process.

Due to climate change in the coastal areas are highly vulnerable to various natural disasters leading to salinity intrusion and problem for drinking, cooking, bathing water and agricultural irrigation problem; Sanitation problem make more vulnerable to the coastal community people; Negative effect on agriculture sector, aquaculture sector, livestock sector,  infrastructure sector as well as forest sector;  river silted and increase permanent and sessional migration which created pressure on urban areas; finally created problems of unemployment.

So improve the most alarming situation must priority on community based adaptation program as well as mitigation program in the southwest part of Bangladesh. In adaptation program must priority community based adaptation program as because local people are the real expert in this regards.   That’s why in the planning phase local community must be involved. On the other hand to mitigation aspect there must be land based agriculture promotion activities must be promoted in right manner. Agricultural department of Bangladesh has a lot of adaptive varieties and that’s must be introduced in the coastal belt of Bangladesh in rapidly basis through various promotional activities.

So, finally to reduce negative effect of climate change then our government, private sectors and policy makers have to put emphasis on the following interventions considering southwest part of Bangladesh. Another most important matter that public private partnership is very much essential. Firstlyincrease knowledge on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)of the climate change affected community people and advocacy for mainstreaming of resource management and in this regard the following activities can be under taken: Conduct Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) as well as Community Risk Assessment (CRA) through engaging the community; conduct advocacy training with advocacy committee members for skill development on success advocacy; Develop cultural team for dissemination knowledge on climate change; awareness message dissemination through electronic and printing media andconduct institutional based awareness program.

Secondly increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation for the community people who have lost their access to safe drinking water due to climatic change and its hazards and in this regard the following activities can be under taken: installation of pond sand filter (PSF) in the village level for ensuring safe drinking water; pond re-excavation in the village level for ensuring safe drinking water; water reservation pond for cattle drinking water, irrigation for vegetable cultivation and community people bathing in the dry session; installation of rain water harvesting system (RWH) at household, institution and community level; installation of deep tube-well in the village level where the ground water is success; installation solar pump for pipeline water supply at community level; introducing water purification technology at household level; promotion of hygiene practices at household as well as community level; improve kitchen management at household level for ensuring hygiene practices.

Thirdlyenhance adaptive capacity of the vulnerable community with viable adaptation options through agriculture, aquaculture and livestock sub-sectors and in this regards the following activities can be under taken: saline tolerant agriculture at household level for introducing the method of mulching, land rising and platform vegetable cultivation; homestead gardening and dike cropping; afforestation at river bank and fallow land; adaptive tree plantation at household level; nursery development for expansion of community level green forest; adaptive fodder cultivation for cattle promotion in saline affected areas; community based fish farming through case and open method of fish farming; crab fattening at household level; Kuche(Ill fish)fattening at household level; adaptive sheep, Goat, poultry and sheep rearing at household level.

Fourthlypromotion disaster resilient (climate refuge) infrastructure for vulnerable community peopleincluding who are now still living in the road side makeshift vulnerable hut or in the open sky  and in this regard the following activities can be under taken: contributory climate resilient shelter support for vulnerable households due to various floods; contributory climate resilient plinth rising support of most vulnerable families which are more vulnerable due to various floods; introducing low cost solar energy at household level to reduce carbon emission; earth filling of school, madrasa and temple ground which are waterlogged due to heavy rain or flood; development killa(one kind of high land) for cattle save from various natural disasters.

Fifthly reduce pressure on Sundarbans biodiversity through providing alternative job opportunity for Bawali, Mawaliand Jawalispecially Sundarban dependent community people and in this regard the following activities can be under taken: ensure alternative livelihood options for Sundarban dependent community; capacity development  training for Bowali(Collect Goalpata from Sundarban)and Mouali(Collect honey from Sundarban) on potential income generating activities and IGA loansupport or linkage with financial institute of Sundarban dependent people which ensure decent job for the said community.

So, it is high time to ensure sustainable adaptation program for coastal climate change affected community people for adaptation and mitigation measures.

The writer is a development activist