Cut carbon, compensate | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 23, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 23, 2010

Cut carbon, compensate

Climate change victims ask developed world

People affected by natural disasters in coastal and char areas urged the developed world to cut carbon emissions and give financial compensations at a discussion on climate impact in the capital yesterday.
They also appealed to the government for immediate repair of the coastal embankments damaged by cyclone Aila in Khulna and Satkhira regions in May last year. The Climate Poverty Hearing was jointly organised by Oxfam GB Bangladesh and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) at the National Press Club.
Sarbanu Khatun from Satkhira, Jahanara Begum from Sunamgonj and Hamida Begum from Gaibandha described the damage done to them by natural disasters, and how they were deprived of food, shelter, health and education as a consequence of the climate change.
Hamida said her family used to live by growing onion, garlic, peanuts, oil seeds, and maize on char land. But the intrusion of saline water has destroyed the crops for the last couple of years.
"I have three school-going children but they cannot attend school, as I am unable to feed them," she said.
"We do not ask for loans, nor charity or relief from the developed world. We want them to cut carbon emissions and we want to survive on our own resources," said Hamida.
Sarbanu's husband had given his agricultural land to shrimp farmers as he failed to grow traditional crops due to saline water.
He then started to collect honey from the Sundarbans for a living, but one day a tiger killed him, Sarbanu said.
She added that she with her four children has been homeless since Aila hit the area.
They narrated their sufferings caused by the climate change before the world leaders in the United Kingdom, European Commission Parliament, Asia Pacific Climate Tribunal and Copenhagen Conference in 2009.
Mehedi Hasan of Khulna-based Humanitywatch said a total of 700 kilometres of embankment in Shyamnagar, Koira and Dakob upzilas has been severely damaged by Aila.
Asheq-e-Elahi of Satkhira-based Progoti, an NGO, said Water Development Board failed to meet three deadlines to repair the embankment.
Thousands of coastal people have been living under the open sky with drinking water in short supply, he said.
Ahasan Uddin Ahmed, CSRL convenor who chaired the event, called upon the developed world to stop greenhouse gas emissions and give compensations to the affected people.
Ziaul Haq Mukta, CSRL member secretary and policy and advocacy manager of Oxfam, also spoke on the occasion.

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