'Own resources enough to protect coastal belt'
Speakers at a seminar on Sunday said it will be possible to protect the country's coastal land and people with its own resources if the Water Development Board works in coordination with other government agencies.
The seminar titled aProtecting Bangladesh Coast from Climate Catastrophes: Actions Prior to Next Monsoon" was held at the media centre of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
The seminar was chaired by Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forests Ministry and moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST Trust.
Among others, Deputy Minister for Environment and Forests Abduallah Al Islam, Professor Emeritus of BRAC University Dr Ainun Nishat, Panchanan Biswas, MP, Z Zabunnasa Afroz, MP, Pankaj Nath, MP, Sheikh Nurul Haque, MP, and Didarul Islam, MP, took part in the discussion.
In his keynote presentation, Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST Trust presented the gloomy scenario of embankment construction with emergency allocation which was given after cyclone Roanu.
Expressing concern, he said if this sorry state prevails, the coastal population will suffer tidal surge and related crisis again in the next monsoon.
Dr Ainun Nishat said embankment height in coastal areas has to be increased up to 7 metres while participation of local community, transparency and accountability in the WDB work must be ensured.
He also criticised the present Delta plan as proposed by donors.
Dr Hasan Mahmud said political leaders should come forward with suggestions about how the government can do their coastal protection work with country's own resource mobilisation.
He also said the World Bank should not come forward with any proposal to give loan to Bangladesh in this regard.
The parliamentary watchdog chief underscored the need for restructuring WDB, saying there must be coordination with LGED, Disaster Management and Relief Ministry and Shipping Ministry for protecting the country's coast belt. —UNB