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20 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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30pc of Barishal division embankments vulnerable

Staff Reporter, Barishal

More than 30 per cent of embankments in the southern coastal region are severely damaged. Among them, 25 km embankments in 87 polders in the Barishal region had been washed away by devastating cyclones Sidr and Ayla.

This came to light at a seminar was held on the need for construction of sustainable embankments by the Water Development Board (WDB) to overcome the effects of climate change and to ensure coastal safety. The seminar was jointly held at a city hotel by the development organisations Coast Trust and Integrated Community Development Association (ICDA).

Experts said the repair, reconstruction and improvement of all damaged embankments would require at least Tk 10,000 core. But the shortage of funds and lack of adequate manpower is only aggravating the extent of damage, they added.

The coastal area of Barishal has become an endangered region due to climate change and the lack of any work that may mitigate and adapt to its effects. Sufficient budget and manpower is needed to implement pro-people WDB projects to cope with these.

Awami League MP Talukdar Md. Yunus was the chief guest at the event. WDB chief engineer (Barishal region) Sajidur Rahman was a special guest. The seminar was presided over by ICDA executive director Anowar Zahid.

Fahmida Amin, coordinator of project monitoring and evaluation at Coast Trust, presented a keynote paper.

Talukdar Md Yunus called for immediate steps to prevent and control river erosion as well as the repair and development of flood-control embankments in the region.

Sajidur Rahman demanded sufficient budgetary allocation and manpower recruitment to execute the relevant projects. “We received only Tk. 41 crore against our demand of Tk. 469 crore for executing our projects in the region in last fiscal year. Our manpower decreased to 260 from 790 in recent years. There has been no recruitment in last 10 years,” he said. “If sufficient funds are not allotted and more manpower not made available, embankments in the southern coastal region would be under a severe threat,” he added.

Participants at the seminar stressed the formation of a water regulatory commission, a water court, and the participation of locals and elected representatives in each WDB project. They also emphasised the need to increase the height of embankments from an average of about five feet to 15–20 feet in the coastal region. There is a total of 10,405 km of embankments in the country, of which 3,700 km is situated in Barishal division.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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