Prof Shamsul Alam visited the Blue Gold Program area and wrote a news article about his visit in the national newspaper Bonik Barta. Find the summary of it below. Find attached the full newspaper article in Bangla, but also the translated version.
Professor Alam starts with how important water management is to deal with disaster risk and climate change in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. Also mentions how the BDP 2100 will address these issues. In the BDP 2100, its proposed to: 1) Ensure natural tidal flow in 7 coastal polders in order to collect silt; 2) develop local salinity forecasting system; 3) initiate regular dredging in Ghasiakhali and other channels in Sundarbans area; and 4) development of Sundarbans, create artificial mangroves, green belt, development in islands and plant mangrove species in newly emerged islands. He mentions that although there exists some criticisms for polder and embankments activities in general but there are many positive examples of these activities like the polder management in Noler char and Matlab Dhanagoda flood defence irrigation system.
Then he introduces the Blue Gold program, its main activities, and locations. In detail it is described how BGP is assisting in developing polder mgt committees and their main roles & responsibilities. He also mentions how the BGP agricultural activities and FFSs are helping the local farmers in improving production of field crop, fishery and livestock. Here he states that “however there still exist problems with polder mgt. Main issues are- the height of the polders are less than necessary; repairment of sluices; siltation in rivers; communication problem due to lack of bridges in excavated rivers and limited use of modern technologies in rice cultivation. Another big problem in the coastal areas is waterlogging which destroys crop production.” After talking with some locals from Batiaghata and dumuria union, he understands that there is problem of illegally established dams in the rivers for fishery production and thus it’s very important to remove the illegal establishments from the rivers and khals and undertake re-excavation.
He ends the articles by stating that BGP is a role model for integrated water management programme in the coastal areas and thus it is necessary to continue the work of BGP. For this it is crucial to ensure the participation of Government,non-government and local people. He again states the necessity to continue the different activities of BGP to address the problems mentioned above (i.e. height of the polders, re-excavation, repair of sluices, embankment, and activate the water mgt committees) is crucial to develop agricultural activities. He also states that its important for the local government to monitor the illegal encroachments, and remove water hyacinth from canals.
Details in Bangla click here
Details in English click here