Climate change poses threat to livelihood
Adverse impact of climate change has started posing a serious threat to the farming sector alongside overall living and livelihood condition in vast Barind Tract comprising the districts of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj for the last couple of years.
The adverse situation has directly been making negative impact on the water, sanitation, overall public health and sustainable livelihood in the region, said AKM Zilani, a development activist of Nachole in Chapainawabgonj.
Substantial and sustainable promotion of water and sanitation related modern technologies have become an urgent need to face the natural catastrophe, he mentioned.
Although the region has achieved sustainable progress in increasing food grain production, groundwater use for irrigation is a growing matter of concern in the Barind Tract, according to a recent study.
Prof Dr Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, principal investigator of the study, says food security of the area is highly dependent on irrigational inputs with groundwater being the main component for food production.
More than 40,000 deep and shallow tube-wells and low lift pumps are extracting groundwater every day for maintaining the farming system especially the irrigation-dependent paddy for boosting its outputs to feed the huge population. “But, if the present trend of groundwater extraction continues, the water level will decline and water pumps will be non-functional due to a lack of water. Water level of surface sources, including rivers and wetlands, will also decline,” he said.
Prof Dr Bidhan Chandra Das of Rajshahi University said if river water shrinks day by day, an ecological imbalance will take place, contributing to the environmental degradation. The whole water and sanitation is facing serious threat due to multifarious reasons including arsenic intrusion, rising of shoals as a result of erosion and accretion leading to water scarcity and quality problems.