Workshop on urban climate resilience held in city

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh organized a National Level Round Table Discussion and Workshop on Urban Climate Resilience on Sunday 17 May 2015 at 10.30 am at Azimur Rahman Conference Hall, the Daily Star Bhaban, Farmgate, Mr. Engineer Khondker Fowze Muhammed Bin Farid, Director, Urban Development Directorate (UDD), Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh attend the event as special guest. The event was presided over by the National Director of the Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, John Armstrong.

IMG_1294“There will be discussions on different needs of the town on the 7th urban plan. Urban Development Directorate is considering the Disaster Risk Resilience as one of the main issues. There are plans to train the city corporation planner, putting policies on urban development is also in plan. UDD can guide us through urban planning issues. The urban development act is in consideration of the urban commission. UDD has undertaken projects on climate changes with help of UN organizations. Today’s research findings, sharing on water supply and sanitation for low income people in urban was very useful. Todays discussion should be distributed to everyone” said  Mr. Engineer Khondker Fowze Muhammed Bin Farid, Director, Urban Development Directorate (UDD), Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

HFHB conducted a research study on “Improving Multi-stakeholder Collaboration for Water and Sanitation Sector to Contribute to Positive Impact on Urban Climate Resilience” in cooperation with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). The hypothesis of this research is “multi-stakeholder collaboration can enhance urban climate resilience impact”, the objective is to investigate how multi-stakeholder collaboration can positively impact and contribute to scale on urban resilience especially water and sanitation sector in Bangladesh.

The key findings of the research was-

Poor quality of services and inadequate quantity of water which is provided by DWASA through pipe line; There are water reservoirs in the study sites constructed by NGOs but not in operation due to lack of water connection line; poor or lack of drainage system; drains and roads are inundated during rainfall

Very recently Sanitation facilities have improved through community based latrines which are inadequate and not all are functioning properly; Poor/no sewerage system; no monitoring or maintenance activities after completion of the projects.

Heavy rainfall; flooding, water logging and heat waves are the major climatic disasters that affect the water supply, sanitation and health facilities of the slum dwellers. Literature suggested that the frequency and intensity of these climatic events will increase in near future, as a result of these the sufferings of the low income people will likely to be increased.

Women are more vulnerable than men due to lack of water supply and adequate sanitation facilities particularly in the flood and water logging conditions.

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA), Dhaka city Corporations and are playing key roles in WATSAN facilities. Besides these; a large number of NGOs are also playing vital roles in improving the WATSAN facilities of the urban poor – but currently inadequate.

To improve the situation sometimes the NGOs develop project based collaboration with other partners and government authorities but without considering long term strategy.

Fear of eviction and lack of legal rights to the land the services are hindering to take any long term strategic development goals

Improving the situation will require a sustained effort from all stakeholders – including government, community members, CBOs, NGOs, media, donors, researchers and academics.

Government should play the lead role by formulating a urban policy and strategic action plan through consultations with advisors, key personnel and other stakeholders. Here government can formulate a group (where representative from all the stakeholders) who can coordinate the work and ensure that every organization is following the guidelines.

The coordination group will take the research findings of academics, researchers, monitoring result of the implemented projects and will update the guidelines with time. The spread of scientific findings to the field by the media and lobby Group will create awareness among the people of all level.

Acting of NGOs like a bridge between the community people and policy makers

Following a government-devised action plan, NGOs and CBOs will be able to develop more robust and effective partnerships through existing project based strategies. However, it is necessary have long term strategies by the NGOs to bring resilience in urban water and sanitation sector.

Among others, Dr. Sallemul Haque, Chairman ICCCAD, Akhtaruzzaman, representative of UN Habitat Bangladesh, S M Mamun, Urban Programme specialist of UNICEF, Mostofa Quyum Khan, National Policy Advisor Bangladesh Urban Forum, Azhar Ali, National Co-coordinator UPPR-UNDP  spoke in the function.

Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, a branch of HFH International, was established in 1999 in the city of Mymensingh in the central north region of the country. It currently operates in 10 locations across the country, aiming to break the cycle of poverty. more than 6500 low-income Bangladeshi families have partnered with Habitat to improve their housing, water and sanitation, and living conditions. This represents around 300,000 people who have also received training in microfinance, safe water and sanitation, appropriate construction technology, and disaster response and mitigation.