In order to build a sustainable northern region, reviving dead rivers, protecting and improving quality of water bodies, and maintaining "good and well-planned practices" in implementing agricultural, fisheries and industrial projects is essential, speakers stressed at a discussion in Rajshahi yesterday.
The discussion, held at the city's Hotel Warisan, was titled "Developing the Draft Watershed Management Policy and Implementation Framework". It was organised by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and assisted by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The speakers observed that while rivers are dying, other water bodies are getting contaminated, mainly due to the lowering of groundwater, uncontrolled use of chemicals, and illegal disposal of toxic wastes.
To save rivers and water bodies of Rajshahi region, the speakers demanded that the proposed Ganges Barrage and North Rajshahi Irrigation projects be implemented.
They also suggested accelerating the agricultural extension processes and expansion of different methods of irrigation to ensure the required volume of water for irrigation.
The programme was moderated by Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, of Rajshahi University's Geology and Mining department.
The discussion was chaired by IUCN country representative Raquibul Amin, while Prof Mohammad Rejaur Rahman of Institute of Water and Flood Manangement of Buet attended as chief guest.