Published:  12:00 AM, 23 June 2016

Erect dams to protect coastal people: 35 MPs

Members of Parliament from the country's coastal areas yesterday stressed the need for erecting embankments to protect the coastal people, their land and livelihood instead of providing them with relief. This is also the core demand of the people living along the coast, they said in a roundtable discussion jointly organized by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Environment and Forests Ministry and COAST Trust in the conference room of Parliament Media Centre.
Around 35 MPs from the coastal belt attended the discussion titled "Climate Change Impact, Recent Cyclone and Save Coast" chaired by the parliamentary watchdog chairman Dr Hasan Mahmud. Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud was the chief guest. Climate expert Dr Atiq Rahman, AKM Shahgahan Kamal, MP, Talukdar Abdul Khalek, KM Jahangir Hossain, MP, Ashiq Ullah MP, Nurunnabi Chowdhury, MP, Tipu Sultan, Shamsuddoha of CPRD and Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, among others, took part in the discussion while Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust presented the keynote paper.Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud said like the Netherlands, Bangladesh
can also save its coastal land. "Our coastal lands are not under sea level; rather those are above the sea level," he said.
The government cannot alone do the job with its limited resources, he said, adding that development partners need to come forward with resources and technology in this regard.In his keynote presentation, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust said almost all coastal districts will go under water by the next 50 to 100 years due to climate change impacts. "There're technologies through which the coastal areas could be saved. But it needs huge investments and political will."
Tipu Sultan said, "If the coastal lands aren't protected, we'll not be able to sustain our food self-sufficiency."Ashik Ullah said the Water Development Board must sit with coastal MPs to prepare planning and projects in this regard.
AKM Shahgahan Kamal said all the coastal MPs must approach Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for special allocation and planning for the coastal areas.

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