Raised plinths save 1.33 lakh char people from floods13 July 2015
Over 1.33 lakh extremely poor families, living on their raised plinths in low-lying remote char areas on the Brahmaputra basin, have been escaping current floods effectively like in the previous years.
The plinths have been raised to save the char people along with properties from floods under the comprehensive Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP) to assist them in becoming self-reliant amid adverse situation and climate change impacts.
Side by side escaping floods, saving properties and cattle heads, the CLP beneficiary families have also been providing shelters to other displaced people when their houses are being inundated in the neighbouring areas.
Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr Mahbub Alam said the char people have been enjoying the privilege following implementation of CLP activities by a number of NGOs since 2004 in ten northwestern riverine districts.
Under the comprehensive livelihoods development programme, plinths
of 1.33 lakh char households have been raised in two phases exceeding the fixed target of 1.17 lakh households since 2004. The population of these households has been estimated at 5.17 lakh people.
Of those, plinths of 55,000 households were raised against targeted 50,000 households under CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and 78,078 against 67,000 households under phase-II during 2010-2016 along with providing assistance to improve livelihoods by 2016.
The UKaid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have been jointly funding implementation of the CLP.
Under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural
Development and Cooperatives and management through Maxwell Stamp Plc, CLP is being executed by the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division.
The programme is being implemented successfully through GO-NGO collaboration on the chars in Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and Tangail districts.
Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the CLP implementing organisations, Mamunur Rashid said the CLP has become effective to assist char people in adapting with climate change also to achieve self-reliance.
Chairman of Astomirchar union in Chilmari upazila Sohrab Hossain
said floodwaters cannot inundate houses of CLP beneficiaries who have
also access to sanitation, pure drinking water, healthcare, microfinance, nutrition and education.
CLP beneficiaries Makduda, Lalbanu and Shahera of Ghughumari Char and Halima Begum of Char Krishnapur on the Brahmaputra bed in Kurigram, Rahela and Kulsum of Purbo Char Gunai on the Teesta bed in Rangpur termed plinth-raising as their savior.
"We have been remaining safe along with our properties, essentials and cattle-heads during floods this time like every year and helping neighbours through providing shelters on our raised plinths like in the previous years," they said.
Beneficiaries Mamtaz, Parveen, Delwara, Aklima and Jahura of different char villages also narrated as how they have been escaping floods for the ninth consecutive time this season when their other surrounding areas submerged.
"Side by side escaping floods, we rear domestic animals and poultry birds, cultivate vegetables, fruits in our raised tiny homesteads to achieve self-reliance, lead better life and our children are now going to schools," they said.
Talking to BSS, Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the plinth- raising programme of CLP has become very effective to escape floods by the poor char people side by side improving their livelihoods in recent years.