Climate changing has been concerned issue all over the country. The impact can be seen and felt every day. As for example, paddy and wheat production may decrease by 17% and 61% respectively for climate change in Bangladesh. Along with losing food production capacity, we will lose our coastal areas under the sea. Delta Plan 2100 has been approved by the National Economic Council to address climate changing as well as other issues of our country. It promises prosperous growth in long term plan and to deal with climate changing issues and disaster risks. Vision: Building up a prosperous Bangladesh Delta resilient to the climate changing impacts. Mission:
Adopting firm, coordinated and flexible strategy which will ensure adaptability to changing time needs. The mission considers following key issues to face Delta challenges establishing long term safeguard in upcoming years,
– Good governance in justified water resource allocation
– Disaster risk and climate changing shock
– Food and water safeguard
– Economic prosperous
– Environmental stability
The mission of Delta Plan 2100 complies two tiers of aims, National aims and Specific aims.
National Aims: There are three higher level aims.
Aim 1: Eradicate extreme poverty by 2030
Aim 2: Obtain place in the upper-middle income earning country ranking by 2030
Aim 3: Being a prosperous country by 2041
Specific Aims: The six specific aims are,
Aim 1: Safeguard from flood and disasters associated with climate changing
Aim 2: Ensure safe water and proper use of water
Aim 3: Develop integrated durable river areas and estuary
Aim 4: Preserving and utilization of wetlands and ecosystems by compatible manner
Aim 5: Build up active institution with good governance to ensure inter and intra-country water management.
Aim 6: Ensure maximum utilization of land and water resources.
For better utilization of the plan, strategies will be coordinated with Five Year Plan (FYP) and other proposed milestone such as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The whole plan is divided into three phases and strategies will be undertaken considering this timeline.
There are total 80 projects under the Delta plan 2100, which are, 65 initial infrastructure development projects and 15 organization capabilities and skill developing, research projects.
There are six prioritized area in plan marked as Hot spot. They are following
1. Coastal Area: 27,738 square kilometers of area consists 19 districts. Main problems are,
Cyclone and storm surge
Water salinity and severity of fresh water
Decreasing ground water table
2. Barind and Drought Prone Area: 22,848 square kilometers of area consists 18 districts.
Water salinity and severity of fresh water
Decreasing ground water table
3. Haor Region: 16,574 square kilometers of area consists 7 districts.
Water logging and drainage problems
Insufficient water and sanitation
4. Chittagong Hill Tracts:3 districts with 13,295 square kilometers.
Sewage treatment, sanitation problem
5. Major River and Estuary :The largest of all with 35,204 square kilometers of area and 29 districts.
River erosion, changing river bed and course and char area
Siltation management and river transport management
6.Urban Area: It is the 7 districts of Bangladesh; Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet.
Insufficient sewage system and sanitation
Drinkable water insufficiency
Apart from dealing with climate changing and disaster challenges, the plan emphasizes on these hot spots to have an integrated and comprehensive solution towards the vision.
Delta Plan 2100 brief plan and presented previews are published by Government. The links are following.
Bangladesh has been providing shelter to Rohingya refugees since 1978. Rohingya refugees are the stateless race of Rakhine State within Myanmar and share international boundary with southern part of Bangladesh. However, before 1962, they were recognized as one of the ethnic groups of Myanmar privileged with all the opportunities same as other citizens. Their ancestors are believed to be the Sunni Muslims of Arakan from Arabs, Moors, Turks, Persians, Moguls and Pathans. Since the World War II, they have suffered from abuse. In 1947 according to Human Rights Watch, representative leaders of Rohingya requested President Jinnah of Pakistan to incorporate northern Arakan into East Pakistan. The proposal cut a great impact upon them seemed as untrustworthy which followed racial discrimination, torment such as physical abuse, extra judicial execution, religious persecution, etc. and persecution to carry unpaid work force, inhumane labor, land confiscation and extortion. They suffered from restriction to move along country, participate in public service, residence rights, secondary and tertiary education with handful facilities. As a result, Bangladesh faced three major influxes of Rohingya refugees with the hope of living, overcoming from all the torments and above all leading human life with basic necessities.
Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh:
Recent and third major influx has been started from August 2017. From then more than 600,000 refugees have taken shelter and the total population has crossed 800,000 according to the research findings of Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG). ISCG has been publishing “Situation Update: Rohingya Refugee Crisis” once in a week describing population in different camps. Sudden influx of this huge population is too much to address by the government and even for the national and international organization.
Although Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MFDM) and different organizations are assisting refugees continuously by providing makeshift camps beside two registered camps, they are overwhelmed with the extensive numbers. As a result, more than 176,000 refugees are building new spontaneous camps in different places of Cox’s Bazar. Most of the spontaneous camps are situated in reserved forest and hilly areas of Ukhia. They are building shelter by clearing forest trees and leveling the sloped hill. Whenever, they get the chances to move to makeshift camps where more reliefs and aids are available, they are abandoning the spontaneous camps. Most distressing issue is that they are residing and taking shelter in these spontaneous settlements for one to two weeks with their own effort and destroying the forest and leaving great deal of environmental consequences.
Habitation Location and Pattern:
The following map represents the population of refugees living in different areas and types of camps in Ukhia and Teknaf. The map is prepared focusing on the issue of habitation concern of Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh associated with Rohingya refugee asylum.
Map Prepared: Author (2017)
Population Data Source: ISCG (2017)
Map Source: LGED (2008)
Forest Impact Information source: Khan, Uddin & Haque (2012),Mahmud (2017)
At first six spontaneous settlements were built by refugees, Burmapara, Moinerghona, Hakimpara, Thangkhali, Rubber Garden and Roikhong. There has been a new spontaneous settlement, Chakmarkul in Teknaf. After the expansion of Kutupalong and Balukhali makeshift camps, the two camps including Rubber Garden is now known as Kutupalong Expansion Site. Most of the refugees are convinced to move to this site from others. The map shows the incoming and outgoing pattern of refugees for different camps by the arrows. From Moinerghona almost 50,000 refugees have moved within two weeks and destroyed forest. All data consisting camp location and population are monitored and recorded by ISCG.12,000 refugees have moved from Shamlapur and cut 1000 tress of reserved forest. Thus destroyed 15 years project outcome within seven days. This not only increases chances of land slide but also vulnerability of human life. The findings has been came out from the survey of Mahmud and he mentioned that the refugees have no other choice but cutting trees for building house and managing fuel alternative as the reliefs are either unavailable or insufficient.
Rohingya Asylum in Spatial and Environmental Perspective:
Rohingya issues have been a major concern for last 39 years. The government provide asylum to them to reserve Human Right Convention but steps should be taken with care as the asylum has great deal of impact on the spatial and environmental perspective.
Impact on Hill Geography and Increased Vulnerability: Rohingya are taking asylum by destructing reserved forest and cutting sloped hill in plain land. The hills of Chittagong district are made of crumby soil. The soil is clay loamy in character in comparatively leveled ground and sandy loam to coarse sand in hilly area. The soil is graded into sandstone. Average annual rainfall is 130 to 940 mm in Teknaf and 3490 mm highest including Ukhia. Average annual humidity is 27% to 99%. The heavy rainfall and flash flood causes the upper soil to loosen it strength and the underlining soil layer becomes unable to carry the upper layer of soil. Ad hoc deforestation and soil leveling cause landslides and soil disruption. Extensive use and pressure in hilly area for the intense density of living population impacts the soil carrying capacity of asylums built upon the hilly area. The material used to build dwelling is also not sustainable for hills. Polythene sheets are destructive in nature and also incapable to sustain the climate of hills. Registered camps in Kutupalong and Nayapara, unregistered camps in Taal, Balukhali, even newly allotted 2000 acres of area for Rohingya, all have built upon the reserved forest or hilly area. According to Environment Conservation Act 1995, all the natural resources must be preserved. Violation of this rule has severe consequences of hill slide.
Environmental Degradation: The Rohingya asylum is poorly supported for proper sanitation as the refugees are lakhs in number. In the registered camp of Kutupalong and Nayapara the ratio of latrine provided for human is 1:20 and 1:25 respectively according to UNHCR. To support recent influx of emergency latrines have been built in makeshift camps. Yet, refugees are dependent on forest to abandon human waste. This will interfere the acidic properties of hill soil. Human wastes in this extensive amount damage the soil chemical constitution balance as well as impair aesthetical balance. Providing sanitation facilities in hill is much difficult and need more precaution with specific design.
Impact on Biodiversity and Ecology: Natural water sources available near Kutupalong and Rakhaiyang are continuously getting polluted by the human waste and refugee’s extensive use as they have very few water from the authority for daily use. The minerals are damaged and so does the biodiversity. People dig deep hole in the hills to find water. Deforestation and soil erosion of hill has become a common problem for digging hole in improvised manner. As tube-wells and ground sources are scarce, purified water and rain water harvesting are possible solution.
The hill tracks are mostly recognized as pathway of elephant and also major species of lizards, frogs, snakes and birds. The asylum has great deal of negative impact by destructing the biodiversity and resources. Area was declared reserved forest for special species and shrubs that were necessary for protection of environment of sloped area constituted with loamy soil. Research has shown that Rohingya refugees are responsible for destruction of these shrubs at about 70% rate in 2010 in Kutupalong, Nayapara and Leda camp. The consequences will result in possible extinction of any species which may change ecology.
Impact on Natural Resource: Cox’s Bazar is a great potential for tourist attraction. Ill maintained refugees are a great threat for this. Present Kutupalong and Nayapara registered camps for resettlement plan of Rohingya in 2006 are established on the reserved forest with valuable natural resources, flora and fauna. Unregistered camps such as Taal camp is also within reserved forest area. Rohingya refugees are continuously cutting forest trees to make shelter or store for fuel. Even, large tracks of forest have been cleared to earn money for smuggling. UNHCR used to provide fuel relief till 2004. After that the deforestation has increased. Investigation has also found out the illegal deforestation and woods have used for business to make furniture, boat and simply sell them as fire wood in market to earn livelihood. Research conducted by Ahamed, Hossain and Hoque in 2011 and Rahman and Hossain in 1994 showed that forest and natural trees have been destructed in Teknaf only by refugee.
Table: Forest destruction caused by Rohingya refugees in different time period
Source: Ahamed, Hossain and Hoque (2011)
Another research carried out by Khan, Uddin, and Haque in 2012 to illustrate scenario of unregistered refugees who have no aid from any organization showed that the 92.5% dependent directly and completely for livelihood, fuel, food, housing construction and medicinal purposes. Illegal forest destruction was carried out by 22% refugee households in Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS). After second influx, in 1992, reserved forest of TWS dropped to 55% and 6% in 2006. Recent influxes are supported by asylum in Ukhia near Whykong Range that posses 65% reserved forest before the third influx. It is obvious that the asylum action without precaution like previous will be the reason of future destruction soon.
Severe difficulties have been reported regarding land claim in TWS. Research findings of Khan, Uddin, Khan and Haque also concluded, unregistered households of refugees living in Leda and Kerentoly camps occupy .15 ha forest land on an average. .09 ha is directly encroached and .06 ha is rented from local people. They claim to have ownership of that forest land according to the tradition or fashion hoist by local people after few years of possession. This type of land tenure ship will be the cause of rigorous problems in future. The opinion of forest officer Ali Kabir has been reported to the article of Radio Free Asia about the circumstances of forest and natural resource in Cox’s Bazar after the influx. 1625 acre forestland in Ukhia and 875 acres same in Teknaf have been occupied by the refugees. Forest resources worth 1.5 billion Bangladeshi Tk have been destroyed according to Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Above discussion illustrates that concern is urgent as soon as possible to ensure habitation facilities compatible with environmental and spatial perspective. If the steps are not taken with care the asylum action will be the reason of many problems for our nation.
In the context of unplanned development and risky buildings construction, it was necessary to discuss earthquake issue in order to inform the general people about the risk. Forum for Physical Development of Bangladesh (FPD) and Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) came together to arrange a series of round table conferences on different aspects of earthquake. Out of the five predefined round table conferences, the fifth conference was held on 21th October, 2010 at Rafflesia Hall. The conference was presided by Professor Dr. M. Shamim Z. Bosunia and moderated by Executive Director, FPD, Architect Kazi Anisuddin Iqbal. The list of the participants attended the conference is as follows; Continue reading 5TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH→
Recently several newspapers published some primary steps for preparedness for earthquake and risk of Earthquake. But expert’s opinion regarding present condition and our steps to encounter earthquake in Bangladesh has not been clearly published. In that context, FPD organized a series of five round table discussions jointly with Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) to convey the opinion of expert professionals of different walks of the society in the context of earthquake condition and safety measures for earthquake in Bangladesh. The fourth round table discussion was regarding “Earthquake Risk Mitigation in Bangladesh” Continue reading 4TH Round Table Discussion: EARTHQUAKE RISK MITIGATION IN BANGLADESH→
Allow me to start our Round Table Discussion on Earthquake risk in Bangladesh. This is 3rd session of our series discussion on this issue. You all know Earthquake has become an important topic of talk in our country. Recent two shakes made us more anxious than ever. We have noticed lot of publicity by electronic printed media. Different angle of thoughts came out from professionals/ experts which sometimes differed a lot from each other. I am afraid, such differences made our citizens more anxious. This is the ground for FPD to launch this series, which we like to carry on and conclude through a scientific seminar and publication. I like to invite all of you present here to put your opinions free and frankly so that we can get some in-depth knowledge about this issue. I ask our moderator Kazi Anisuddin Iqbal to let start the session. Continue reading 3RD Round Table Discussion : SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH→
Recently several newspapers published some primary steps for preparedness for earthquake and risk of Earthquake. But experts opinion regarding present condition and our steps to encounter earthquake in Bangladesh has not been clearly published. In that context, FPD organized a series of five round table discussions jointly with Bangladesh Earthquake Society (BES) to convey the opinion of expert professionals of different walks of the society regarding context of Bangladesh in earthquake and safety measure measures for earthquake in Bangladesh. Continue reading 1ST Round Table Discussion : MAGNITUDE & INTENSITY OF EARTHQUAKE IN BANGLADESH→
সামাজিক দায়বদ্ধতা থেকে পেশাজীবীদের মতামত জনসম্মুখে উপস্থাপনের লক্ষ্য নিয়ে যাত্রা শুরু করেছে ফোরাম ফর ফিজিক্যাল ডেভেলপমেন্ট অব বাংলাদেশ (এফপিডি)। এর বিভিন্ন কার্যক্রমের একটি হচ্ছে বিষয়ভিত্তিক আলোচনার মাধ্যমে বিভিন্ন শ্রেণী-পেশায় নিয়োজিত ব্যক্তিবর্গের মতামত সংগ্রহ করে প্রকাশনা বের করা। এই উদ্দেশ্যে গত ২৩ জুলাই ২০০৯ তারিখে Renewal Prospect of Rural Habitat (গ্রামীণ বসতির নবরূপের সম্ভাবনা) শীর্ষক চতুর্থ গোলটেবিল বৈঠক অনুষ্ঠিত হয় র্যাফলেশিয়া, বাড়ি নং-২, রোড নং-২২, গুলশান-১, ঢাকা। উক্ত গোলটেবিল বৈঠকে উপস্থিত ছিলেন-