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PM: Climate change to displace 40 million people in Bangladesh

  • Published at 01:27 am January 16th, 2020
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the national parliament on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 PID

The prime minister said saline water of the sea is now entering 100km into rivers during the summer following the impacts of climate change

There is a possibility that 40,000,000 people of 70 upazilas in the country’s 19 districts might be displaced due to climate change, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

“The average temperature of Bangladesh has increased by one degree celsius in May and 0.5 degree in November in recent times due to the climate change,” she said while replying to a query from Awami League MP Shahiduzzaman Sarker in Parliament during her question-answer session.

The prime minister said saline water of the sea is now entering 100km into rivers during the summer following the impacts of climate change.

“The average rainfall has increased. Especially, excessive rainfall in a short time causes water logging in town areas. The trend of cyclone in the Bay of Bengal has also increased. The rough sea has caused adverse impacts on the livelihood of fishermen,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also said the environmental balance has also been affected due to climate change. “That’s why we don’t see any variation among different seasons as in the past,” she said.

“As a result, it has put an impact on our biodiversity and we see negative impacts on agriculture and livelihood of farmers. This has posed a threat to our farm production and food safety,” she added.

The prime minister also said there is an outbreak of different diseases carried out by insects due to the climate change.

She described her government’s various measures, including formulation of Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, to increase the national capacity to fight the impacts of climate change.

“Zero Discharge Policy” implemented to check industrial pollution

The prime minister said the government has been implementing the “Zero Discharge Policy” in the industrial sector to check industrial pollution and protect the country’s environment, reports BSS.

“Installation of Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) or Air Treatment Plant (ATP) and taking environmental clearance have been made mandatory for mills and factories which require it,” she told Parliament while responding to a starred question placed by ruling party lawmaker Mohammad Shahiduzzaman (Meherpur-2). 

The prime minister informed the House that a total of 1,920 industries out of 2,400 have set up ETPs across the country till December 2019. 

She said the government has been implementing the “Zero Discharge Policy” in the industries releasing liquid wastes with a view to stopping industrial pollution.

“The government has given approval of the Zero Discharge Plan to 526 industries till December 2019,” Sheikh Hasina said. 

About the measures taken by the government to check air pollution, she said the government executed the Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) Project.

Govt to plant 10 million trees in 2020

Sheikh Hasina also said her government has taken a program to plant 10,000,000 trees in 2020 across the country to mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman which will play a significant role in curbing global greenhouse gas emissions.

In reply to a query from Awami League MP Anwar Hossin Khan, she said there are total 40 transponders in Bangabandhu Satellite-1 and it is expected that $1 million-1.25 million might be earned per year from each transponder according to the present market price.

Bangabandhu’s life, works to be spread through celebrating 'Mujib Year'

Responding to a question from AKM Rahmatullah, the prime minister said through celebrating Bangabandhu’s birth centenary during the "Mujib Borsho", it will be possible to spread his life and work in the international arena. 

“Through this, the people of the world will be able to know Bangabandhu’s sacrifices and life in a newer way,” she said.

“And the decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary has gotten an international shape and taken the celebration to a unique dimension,” she said.

She said Unesco decided to observe 59 proposals for 2020-21 and the celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary is one of them. “They didn’t take the decision considering Bangabandhu as a political leader, rather as the symbol of realising people’s rights. They especially considered continued struggle and sacrifices of Bangabandhu during his lifetime.”

“Through Unesco’s decision to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary, the event has taken an international form and under the supervision of Unesco, the entire world will observe the event through various programmes,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She said the history of Bangabandhu’s long struggle and sacrifices for the nation and Bangladesh will be opened up to the whole world.