Environmentalists and civil society representatives at a seminar yesterday demanded transparency and accountability of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) regarding embankment construction and management in the country’s coastal region.
There is a lack of coordination among the activities of BWDB, they said, adding that if the institution is brought under accountability, embankment construction and management will be sustainable and cost-efficient.
They also demanded participation of locals in the process, to maintain transparency.
Coastal Association for Social Transformation (COAST) Trust, a non-government organisation, arranged the seminar on climate resilient embankment management at Cirdap auditorium in the capital.
Presenting a keynote paper on the topic, Arif Dewan, a programme coordinator of COAST Trust, said many people in coastal areas are passing their days in risk, while many were forcibly displaced from their homes due to mismanagement and lack of sufficient embankments.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, noted economist and chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), said BWDB needs to remain accountable to local governments, such as union and upazila parishad.
Shahid Uddin, chairman of Baraghop Union Parishad under Kutubdia upazila of Cox’s Bazar, alleged that BWDB builds embankments only focusing on water flow, not thinking about people’s needs.
That is why participation of local people in the coastal embankment construction and management process is imperative, he added.