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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh, Netherlands, WB team up to manage delta

Update : 16 Jun 2015, 07:56 PM

Bangladesh, the Netherlands and the World Bank have made a deal for sustainable delta management.

The World Bank (WB) has included its private sector arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), based at the IFC’s Washington office, in the initiative.

The partnership will help develop and implement the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 – a 100-year mega project to reduce climate change risks in Padma-Meghna-Jamuna floodplains.

The Bangladesh delta is Asia’s largest and the world’s most populated.

Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith, WB programme leader Lia Carol Sieghart and 2030 WRG Executive Director Anders Berntell signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard in Dhaka yesterday.

This agreement builds upon another deal signed between Bangladesh and the Netherlands in 2012 to implement the Delta Plan.

Muhith lauded the success of the Netherlands in reclaiming land from the sea. He said Bangladesh had not acquired land in that way because of reliance on natural resources.

He said: “Every year, Bangladesh gets around 1,000 square miles of land automatically from the building of sediments that comes from the Himalayas through various river systems. These rivers create the delta in Bangladesh.”

Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen said: “Like all delta countries, Bangladesh and the Netherlands share a common cause to manage these complex environments. They are, therefore, natural partners in the exchange of knowledge and knowhow.”

WB Country Director for Bangladesh Johannes Zutt said that Bangladesh’s location, poverty and population density make it particularly vulnerable to climate change and the accompanying economic losses.

“The Delta Plan 2100 seeks to address this very challenge by building greater delta resilience and sustainability to benefit millions of people whose lives and livelihoods depend on this unique environment and to protect it for future generations,” he said.

Over the last decades, the Government of Bangladesh has invested more than $10bn to make the country less vulnerable to natural disasters.

Measures as strengthening river embankments, building emergency cyclone shelters, and developing world class community-based early warning systems have significantly reduced the loss of life and livelihoods and property damages caused by extreme weather events. 

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