Dhaka 24th August 2013. The recent worrisome situation of river erosion and high tide water intrusion of Bhola passing since May 2013. The situation getting worsen day by day but government haven’t taken yet any effective initiatives for protection. At least 0.5 million peoples are struggling with flood water. Peoples are badly
suffering for food, drinking water, sanitation and protecting their household & belongings. The recent washed out 12 k.m. embankment still open for water intrusion to locality, which is repeatedly worsening the situation into deep crisis.
Today labor, farmer and six civil society organizations from Bhola district namely BKB, Bo-Dip Forum, COAST, DUS, FDA, GJUS and PSS in a Human chain in front of the National Press Club, Dhaka, at 11.00 urges for immediate deployment of Army along with Water Development Board (WDB) to construct embankment and stopped flood water intrusion. The speaker at the Human Chain also demand to the government to declare Bhola district as disaster emergency situation.
On behalf of the groups Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation demands for undertaking embankment construction immediately to protect the farmlands. Historian Kalam Farazi of Borhanuddin Unnoan Forum claims that government is denying our human rights and citizens rights. He claims to declare Bhola as an disaster emergency and start relief and rehabilitation works. Nakib Chwodhury of Bo Dip Forum seeks attention of the MPs and political parties to get into common consensus to pressures government for immediate response. Chowdhury Nazimul Islam also from Bo Dip Forum beware the political parties and government if they fail to rescue disaster victim they will be thrown by the people of Bhola.
Mostafa Kamal Akhanda of COAST trust moderrated the Human Chain event and speak up six specific demand fromt the organizer. The demands are as below:
(1) Immediate deployment of Army along with WDB personnel to construct flood water protection embankment in the eroded 12 k.m. open river bank. (ii) Alocation of Tk. 60 billions to protect the island permanently, (iii) WDB might reduce 20% cost by avoiding political interferences and making the tender process transparent, competitive and fair, (iv) Deploying Army Engineering units simultaneously with the WDB for construction river bank protection CC block, (v) WDB must consider process of public participation from planning to implementation stages of the project; (vii) WDB should prepare information disclosure and complain response mechanism in the grass root, (viii) Embankment Maintenance should be handed over to the local government and NGOs that may reduce the cost.