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Mosharraf for stopping use of top-soil for making bricks

DHAKA, July 28, 2016 (BSS) - Minister for Housing and Public Works Engineer Mosharraf Hossain said today that use of top-soil from agricultural land for making bricks should be stopped to safe farm land and ensure food security.

"We should stop using top-soil agricultural land for making bricks, otherwise it would lead the country to food crisis," the minister told a national inception workshop of 'Promoting Sustainable Building in Bangladesh' Project. Oxfam in Bangladesh organised the workshop at Hotel Dhaka Regency today.

The project is designed for sustainable consumption and production (SCP) of eco-friendly alternative bricks and other construction materials in Bangladesh with the objective to contribute in reduction of green house gas emissions, deforestation and land degradation in the country.

The three-and-a-half-year project is funded by the European Union and will be jointly implemented by Oxfam, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Housing and Building Research Institute (HBRI) and Jagorani Chakra Foundation (JCF).

"The government and especially HBRI will continue to provide support to achieve the purpose of this project," the minister said, adding that his ministry would provide support to formulate the necessary policy regulations and would assist in raising awareness through using different media platforms.

"As Bangladesh races to become a middle income country and construction fuelled by the booming economy continues apace, Oxfam's EU funded project on alternative bricks offers a pathway to sustainable consumption," said Snehal V. Soneji, Country Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh, in his welcome speech.

Head of Cooperation and Head of Unit of EU Delegation to Bangladesh Mario Ronconi said that they would work with the government to change the current framework of the consumption and production of bricks and building construction.

Different stakeholders also discussed and made their comments on the project in an open discussion. The stakeholders put emphasis on the importance on the engagement of multi stakeholders to bring the desired change effectively. Need for proper policy support and awareness in this initiative was also stressed .

The event was presided by Mohammad Abu Sadeque PEng, Director, HBRI. M.B Akhter, Program Director, Oxfam in Bangladesh, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, BELA and Hasan Aref, Director, Programmes, JCF were present, among others.

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