Published:  12:00 AM, 19 June 2016

Mega project for Roanu affected areas demanded

Twenty-eight civil society, labor and farmers organizations yesterday criticized the finance minister and the government for what they said, the proposed national budget 2016-17 has ignored the real situation of the cyclone Roanu-affected coastal people.

They expressed their grievance during a human chain and rally held on the day in front of the National Press Club.
They said, cyclone Roanu on the last 23rd May left a devastating impact in 19 costal districts, took 23 lives and compelled around 20 million people to live under open sky with scarcity of drinking water. Kutubdia island people suffered the most. But the proposed budget has not included any curative measures to address the recent sufferings of the coastal people.

The leaders of the civil societies have demanded that the government must consider sustainable infrastructure like concrete block embankment and dike to protect coastal lands and people from cyclone and monsoon tidal surge as another priority project in the budget of 2016-17.

In the position paper of the group they have given specific nine demands in this regard, where major demands are (i) allocation of taka 6.5 thousand crore to the protect Cox's Bazar coastal area including Kutubdia island from cyclone and tidal surge, (ii) allocation of taka 6 thousand crore to protect the Bhola island districts from river erosion, (iii) reformation of water dev board to make its officials accountable to local upazila and zila parishad, ensuring transparency and people's participation in their work, (iv) engage armed forces for critical construction especially in Kutubdia and Bhola islands, (v) undertaking protection infrastructure of coastal people and land as one priority mega project from this fiscal year of 2016-17 and  (vi) Coastal areas must be protected with afforestation.

The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of COAST Trust, Subol Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Mihir Biswas of Poribesh Bachao Andolon and Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD.

Syed Aminul Haque said, Bangladesh is the one of the most vulnerable countries due to the climate change. Climate adaptation plan or poverty eradication plan can't be successful without protecting the coastal people from their very common sufferings.  Led by COAST Trust co-organizers of the rally were Online Knowledge Society, Arpon, Uddipan, Udyan Bangladesh, Unnayan Dhara Trust, SDS, Krishasni Shova, Grameen Jono Unnayan Sangsta, Jatiya Krishani Sromik Shomiti, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Dak Diye Jai, Docap, Dwip Unnayan Sangsta, Nolcity Model Society, Phals, Pirojpur Gono Unnayan Shomity, PRAN, Prantojon, PSI Bangladesh, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bhumihin Shomity, Bangladesh Agriculture Labor Farm Association, Labor Resource Centre, Sangkalpa Trust, Songram, CDP and Humanity Watch.

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