Bangladesh Delta Plan Formulation Project Launched
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal formally launched the Bangladesh Delta Plan Formulation Project in Dhaka on 27 August 2014.
The launching ceremony was organized by the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission of the Government of Bangladesh.
In addition to representatives of various government ministries and agencies of Bangladesh, the Government of the Netherlands, the technical assistance team supporting the formulation of the plan and other stakeholders attended the ceremony.
The Bangladesh government wants the Bangladesh Delta 2100 Plan to be ready by 2015.
Mega climate adaptation project
The government has taken up a 100-year mega project to reduce climate change risks in Padma-Meghna-Jamuna floodplains and ensure water safety, food security and a sustained economic growth.
The launched project Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 Formulation involves 19 thematic surveys on river system management, impact of climate change, disaster management, and protection of environment and livestock.
The surveys are targeted at preparing scientific vision projections for 2025, 2050 and 2100.
The General Economics Division of the Planning Ministry is implementing the project with Dutch financial and technical assistance to formulate holistic and comprehensive plans of different terms for the next 50-100 years.
Long term vision
According to a news report by Dhaka Tribune, planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said Bangladesh needs an integrated approach to future land use and water management in relation to water safety and food security; governance also needs to be strengthened, integrated and focused on addressing Bangladesh’s future challenges. Kamal believes it has become imperative to develop a holistic longterm vision to optimize short-term interventions and investments to prepare for future challenges.
The delta plan will focus on effective river dredging and river bank protection, construction of embankments, management of low lying land reclaimed from rivers, lives and assets, proper utilization of low lying areas for lives and livelihoods, particularly in the coastal belt.
Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said because of its geo-physical location, topography and high population density Bangladesh risked recurring natural and human-induced hazards with an average 10 million people affected every year.
Describing measures so far taken by his ministry in disaster management, cyclone preparedness and relief operation, Maya said the delta plan would come up with new innovative inputs for framing successive national plans for the next 50-100 years.
New river dredging strategy
Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said: “We have already completed protection work of 265 km river bank, constructed 538 km new embankments, repaired 1,401 km embankments, built 35 bridges and culverts, excavated 366 km drainage canals and 129 km irrigation canals.”
As reported by Dhaka Tribune, minister Anisul expressed hope that the studies would help cast a fresh look on the country’s river dredging strategy for augmenting their flows in dry season and maintaining navigability throughout the year. “However, questions still remain to address: Whether we should continue expensive dredging activities and at the same time refill our riverbeds with sediments settled due to low flow during dry season and soil erosion.”
A large international consortium, BanDuDeltAS, led by the Dutch consultancy firm Twynstra Gudde, has been assigned to formulate the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP2100).
The other consortium partners are Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, Ecorys, Witteveen+Bos, D.EFAC.TO, Deltares, Wageningen University, and Unesco-IHE.
At the launch ceremony Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Gerben Sjoerd de Jong spoke as the guest of honor while team leader of the Technical Assistant Team Jaap de Heer of Twynstra Gudde, presented the inception report on the technical assistance project.