Water Development Board Has to Be Locally Accountable

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IndexKutubdia, 9th August 2016. Today Green Belt Trust, Kutubdia Unnaon Forum, Kutubdia Bachao Andolon, Kutubdia Somity, Kutubdia Press Club and COAST Trust jointly organize a seminar at Kutubdia Officer’s club, title “Construction of Sustainable Embankment: People Participation with Government Work”. Speakers in the seminar urged on local level accountability of Water Development Board (WDB) for construction of sustainable embankment in Kutubdia. The seminar presided over by Civil Society Leader Mr. Shafiul ALam of Kutubdia and moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust. Speakers demanded for construction of concrete based permanent embankment, allocation of special budget and take priority scheme for protection of coastal lands in Kutubdia and in Bangladesh as well.

Ziaul Karim Chowdhury, the Coordinator COAST Trust presented the key note paper in the seminar. He place specific four demands, i.e. (1) Promoting positive engagement among community, civil society, government officials, engineers, elected leaders, experts and others on constructing sustainable embankment, (2) Update of WDB work status during monthly Upazila Coordination Meeting, (3)  Ensure open disclosure and establish sign board with all needful information (budget, specification, time, materials quality and quantities and so on) in each of the project site and (4) Introducing complaint response mechanism along with mobile no of respective authority and public. Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mr. Salehin Tanvir Gazi was present in the seminar as chief guest. Uttar Dhurang Union Parisahd (UP) Chairman Mr. A S M Shahriar, Dakhin Dhurang Chairman Mr. Syed Ahmed Chowdhury, Lemshikhali Chairman Mr. Akter Ahmed Chowdhury, Upazila Female vice Chair Ms. Meherunnesa and President of Kutubdia Shomity and Kutubdia Press Club A N M Shahiduddin Choton were present as guest speakers. In the seminar Sub Divisional Engineer of BWDB Mr. Nazrul Islam was also present as especial guest.

Lemshikhali UP chairman Akter Ahmed said to construct embankment through local government so that it will be sustained. Dakhin Dhurang Charman said that if the embankment work done by usual earth cutting labor it will never be sustained. He urged for modern technology. Uttardhurang Chairman urged for community participation and local level accountability during embankment work, He criticized working through contractor for embankment. Upazila Female Vice Chairman urged to increase the height of the embankment. Media activist Hasan Kutubi insisted high officials of WDB to visit the work regularly for better implementation. He also urged for inclusion of civil society members in embankment works committees. President of Kutubdia Press Club A N M Shahid Uddin Choton asked to construct embankment through food or cash for work for employment creation, he express dismay that there are hardly any allocation for WDB up to next 25 years, which should be increased. He also inisist to create Parabon along with this embankment constructions. UNO Mr Saleheen Tanveer Gazi urged for sign board in each project site and he also pleaded for natural barriers or eco engineering along with the embankment.

Please download Press Release [Bangla] [English]

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