Eight hundreds family of Mollar Char union and four hundreds families from Kamarjani Union, surrounded by river of Sadar Upazila of Gaibandha has migrated elsewhere losing their homestead, assets, lives and means of livelihoods due to river erosion of mighty Bramhaputra. People of coastal region including Padmapukur and Gabura union of Shymanagar of Satkhira and Dakhin Bedkashi, Uttar Bedkashi, Koyra Sadar union of Koyra Upazila of Khulna has also been suffering from coastal river erosion since year after year and force to migrate other regions only for survival.

The article published in climate tribune on 26 december 2020

    The intensity and frequency of cyclones, floods and climatic hazards are increasing due to climate change, the experts say. Recognising the facts of climate change, the government has adopted different policy measures like BCCSAP, NAPA, Climate fiscal framework, Country climate investment plan etc and programmes like BCCTF, allocation of fiscal budget in climate change adaptation. But are these policies and programme protecting the people of Kamarjani, Mollar Char, Padmapukur, Gabura, Bedkashi and Koyra Sadar Union?

    The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) formulated in 2005, has listed 15 priority activities for adaptation, but embankment are not included in the priority list. BCCSAP, 2009 briefed about embankment and coastal polders under pillar of Infrastructure. But the macro policies do not benefit at micro level beneficiaries. 

    Not only the macro climatic policies and top-down programmatic approach could not able to protect the people, but these create some loophole of irregularities of the climate funds. The influential ministers, law-makers and politically powerful leaders are securing climate funds for their own constituencies under these macro policies. Because the macro policies are not supported by the micro level needs as well as community needs. So, when the government goes to implement these macro policies through taking up climate programme, the influential persons get an opportunity to influence the climate programme for his or her own constituencies avoiding the local needs and priority of other regions and climate projects are implemented there accordingly.

    Number of projects implemented in divisions (2010-2015)
    Division / Fiscal Year2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15Total
    Dhaka85811122266
    Chattogram661110201164
    Barisal3348152861
    Khulna10738726
    Rajshahi00046414
    Sylhet01224817
    Rangpur11145517
    More than one division322437497688306

     Source: BCCT

    Coastal districts particularly Satkhira and Khulna and the flood prone riverine districts particularly Kurigram and Gaibandha and hoar region Sunamganj and Sylhet are most vulnerable due to coastal and riverine floods and people are displacing frequently from these districts. But we found in the project implementation scenario (2010-2015) the highest priority was given to Dhaka, Chattogram and Barisal division. Minister was from Chattogram and Barisal division of Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change during 2010-15. It assumed that Dhaka, Chattogram and Barisal division were prioritised ingoing the local priority of adaptation of other regions.   

    The sufferers of the coastal and riverine regions are demanding sustainable embankment for protecting their homes and livelihoods. But the government does not allocate fund for constructing sustainable embankment at the place of the oldest and fragile embankment which was built in about 60 years ago. BCCSAP has policy direction on embankment repairing and maintenance; it has also a macro terms like adaptation with floods, adaptation with tropical cyclones and storm surges. But these macro terms has not set any priority with local needs. So, the government allocates fund for embankment repairing while the local demands for sustainable embankment.

    Protecting people from losing the home and assets due to climatic hazards should be top priority of the government for financing in climate change. But the macro climatic policies did not set these priorities. So, financing in climate change was allocated at the comparatively less priorities. The government should resolve these priority gaps between policies and programme. Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods-CSRL has identified the union level priorities of climate change adaptation for 3 upazila’s consulting with riverine and coastal communities and local government institutions (LGIs). Government should use the experiences and utilize the LGIs to identify the local priorities of adaptation and incorporates these micro level adaptation priorities in the macro level policies and programme. A national adaptation priority and action plan could be developed based on these micro level adaptation priorities and funds the priority projects accordingly which would be set chronologically at the national adaptation priority and action plan.

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