Netherlands to help fight floods | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:09 AM, November 05, 2015

Netherlands to help fight floods in Bangladesh

Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen yesterday assured Bangladesh of assisting in the implementation of its Delta Plan 2100.

She made the assurance while giving a presentation on Dutch Delta Approach at a hotel in The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands, in presence of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Water resources experts from both the countries attended the event, hosted by the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and environment.

Staff Delta Programme Commissioner of the Netherlands Jas Van Alpnes and Joint Chief of the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission, Bangladesh Mafidul Islam gave overviews on the Netherlands Delta Approach and Bangladesh's Delta Plan 2100.

The Dutch minister said the two countries have been facing common challenges in controlling flood. “So, we need collaborative measures to encounter these challenges.”

Putting emphasis on sharing knowledge and experience for practical solution to the water resources management problems, Melanie Schultz said the Delta Plan is very crucial for both the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

In this connection, she said two-thirds of the Netherlands land is vulnerable to flood. “Keeping this in mind, we took another Delta Plan after the successful implementation of the 60-year Delta Plan of 1953.”

“There's a word that the God had created the world, while the Dutch have created the Netherlands,” she added.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Water Resources Mohammad Nazrul Islam and PM's Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad were present, among others.

The governments of Bangladesh and the Netherlands have been working together to formulate a long-term plan for management of the Bangladesh delta, known as the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.

The formulation of the project is led by the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is the world's largest delta. Its rivers and floodplains, that account for 80 percent of the country, support life, livelihoods and the economy.

The country faces major inter-related delta challenges in water safety, food security and socio-economic development and is prone to natural calamities such as flood, cyclone, and drought. 

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