04 Jul 2022, 21:18
Update : 04 Jul 2022, 21:25

Disasters should be tackled considering improved living standards of haor people: Mannan

DHAKA, July 4, 2022 (BSS) - Planning Minister MA Mannan today said that
necessary plans for tackling all kinds of natural disasters like flood should
have to be taken considering improved living standards of haor people.

"It (flood) will happen, and we'll have to face it. But, that doesn't mean
that we'll have to stop development works. Because, we'll also have to ensure
better living standards of those people," he said.

The Planning Minister said this while addressing a roundtable discussion
titled "Recurrent flooding in Sylhet region: causes, rehabilitation and
permanent solution" held at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital this

Mentioning that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already directed the LGRD
Minister regarding development works, Mannan said that after the distribution
of relief materials, there will be necessary construction works while the
government taking alongside the common people has been facing the flood
situation unitedly.

Citing the huge extent of damages in the flood in the haor region including
that of infrastructures and economic loss, he said it is quite unsure when
the "mobility", created earlier in the haor region, would be restored again.

Mentioning that relief materials are being distributed in the agriculture
sector, the Minister said special support would be provided to the affected
farmers including fertilizer, seeds, and pesticides. "Such support will be
provided among the farmers in fastest possible time,"

He also informed that proposals would be put forwarded to the concerned
authority for allocation of necessary funds so that house floors of the poor
people could be made of concrete or to provide at least four concrete

Presided over by Sylhet Division Journalist Association, Dhaka President
Azizul Parvez, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Minister of
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin, Expatriates Welfare
and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed and Deputy Minister for Water
Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim as special guests.

Padma Bridge Project expert panelist, Emeritus Prof and former VC of Stamford
University Dr M Firoz Ahmed, Bangladesh Environment Journalist Forum
President Qumrul Islam Chowdhury, BELA chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan,
Dhaka University Prof Dr Kazi Matin Uddin Ahmed, BAPA general secretary
Sharif Jamal, Institute of Planning and Development Director M Ariful Islam
and River and Delta Research Center Chairman Mohammad Ejaj spoke as

Editor of Protidiner Bangladesh Mustafiz Shafi highlighted his experiences in
relief distribution while roundtable discussion organizing sub-committee
convenor Ehsanul Haque Jashim presented a concept paper.

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin said that
all the rivers of Sylhet region including Surma, Kushiara alongside the
canals and haors should have to be dredged to save the haor people from
flood. "As a result, the water retention capacity of those water bodies will
increase and thus the haor people will be benefitted."

Noting that the own capacity of the government should have to be enhanced to
tackle natural disasters instead of relying on foreign assistance, Shahab
said that the encroached canals, haors, beels, rivers, water bodies and
forests should have to be recovered and protected.

Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said that
the canals could be excavated through sponsorship while there are many
expatriates in the Sylhet region who could volunteer in such noble endeavor.

Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim said that the
role of the joint river commission is very vital in this regard since most of
the rivers in Bangladesh are derived from the neighboring countries and thus
have merged into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh.

He informed that efforts are on so that at least one more meeting of the
joint river commission could be held during the tenure of the present

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