Minister for Water Resources Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud has said that existing polders and embankments should be rearranged to prevent floods.
He made this comment at a roundtable meeting jointly organized by the Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoF&E and COAST
Trust titled "Climate Change Impact, Recent Cyclone and Save Coast" in the conference room of Parliament Media Center.
Present as chief guest he also said that like Netharlands Bangladesh can also save its coastal land, where Bangladeshi coastal lands are not under sea level they are above the sea level, but government alone cannot do the job with its resources, development partners need to come forward with resources and technology.
Around 35 coastal Member of Parliaments (MP) said that they need embankment to protect coastal people, lands and livelihoods, not the relief, this is also the number one demand from the local people.
The Chair of the roundtable Dr Hasan Mahmmud, Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoE&F, said the construction of embankment and coastal forestation has to be integrated, Finance Minister need to consider more allocation for water development board. He also emphasized that Water Development Board must take new approach in this regard.
In his keynote presentation Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust said that, almost all coastal districts or around 17 % of total land of the country will go under water by next 50 to 100 years due to climate change impact, but there are technology with which the coastal area could be saved, but its needs huge investment and political will.
Critical infrastructure to protect people should also be a priority need along with the infrastructure for growth too. Around 28 % of total population of Cox'sbazar district has been affected by cyclone Roanu, which is the highest in country. Among the migrated people due to the cyclone, the highest i.e. 8 % is from the district. He also spoke about the worse reality in Kutubdia island where everyday people is facing saline water surge twice in three unions out of six.
Tipu Sultan, MP, said that if coastal lands are not protected we will not be able to sustain our food self-sufficiency.
Ashik Ullah, MP, said that, Water Development Board must sit with coastal MPs to prepare planning and projects in this regard. Sajahan Kamal, MP, said that all the coastal MPs must approach Prime Minister for especial allocation and planning for coastal area.
Jebunnesa, MP, also said even she cannot go to her area, because people always say that they do not want alms, they need embankment.
Nabi Newaz, MP, said that river erosion and tidal surge impact equally both to the poor and rich too.
Dr Atiq Rahman of BCAS said that in respect of climate change adaptation our government must take embankment to protect coastal people on priority basis.