Climate change mars achievements in water, sanitation: Hasan Mahmud
Climate change is threatening to bring down all the previous achievements of Bangladesh in water and sanitary sectors and making it harder to meet the millennium development goal.
State Minister for Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahumud said it yesterday at a dialogue calling to integrate climate change issues with relevant sectors including water and sanitary, agriculture, health, education and industry for sustainable water resource management stating Bangladesh as the most vulnerable country due to climate change.
Bangladesh government have given emphasis on multilateral funds to deal with climate change challenges, the minister said.
NGO Forum for Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation in cooperation with Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and Terre des Hommes organised the dialogue on 'Impacts of climate change on water and sanitation in Bangladesh' at the National Press Club.
Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of BCAS and coordinator of the dialogue, recommended integrating climate change issues into Water Policy, Environment Policy and in National Water Management Plan. He also said that the government should come up with integrated plans to coordinate 10,000 government agencies to cope with the effects of climate change.
Chief of the Department of Health engineer Md Nuruzzaman mentioned that the scarcity of drinking water remains acute in the hard to reach areas.
“The situation is deteriorating due to impacts of climate change,” he added.
He also said the Sidr and Aila also fully or partially destroyed 1,098 latrines and thousands of tube wells and 1,800 ponds were filled with saline water.
Jan Moller Hansen, deputy head of mission of Dutch Embassy, emphasised implementing the climate change related programmes through local government. He also stated his concerns for the governance issues related to population control that was putting further pressure on Bangladesh's limited resources.
Terming the saline water intrusion a matter of great concern, he said there was not a single tube well or source of pure drinking water usable as all of them were destroyed in the Sidr and Aila affected areas.
Dr Dweijen Mallick presented a keynote paper at the seminar where he illustrated that 60 to 70 percent of the global impact due to climate change is going to be reflected in the water sector.
WaterAid country representative Dr Khairul Islam, executive director of NGO Forum SMA Rashid and its advocacy chief Joseph Halder were also present in the seminar.