As a country that is extremely susceptible to the effects of climate change, the story of Nurjahan and her neighbours in Noakhali is one that is both heartening and encouraging.
Nurjahan, who was forced to migrate due to the adverse effects of climate change, has courageously beaten the odds and successfully transformed barren lands into lush green fields.
For this, the efforts of the Bangladeshi government and the international NGOs involved must be lauded.
Nurjahan, like many others, is a beneficiary of the Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP), which has done a terrific job transforming such lands into producers of not only rich vegetation, but also land to those who suffer the brunt of climate change.
As Bangladesh looks forward, it is crucial that such projects are funded and given the funding they deserve. For we must not only seek development and progress, but also prepare for whatever may impede this very progress in the future.
As such, it is important that the effects of climate change are taken seriously.
What we need now, more than ever, is to allow projects such as the CDSP to flourish.
The CDSP has been instrumental in introducing salinity and flood-resistant crops, variable planting time, mulching and rain water harvesting technologies which help fight the adverse effects of climate change.
This serves as a great example of what Bangladeshis can achieve if we work together, and have an integrated plan when it comes to making progress.
The chars have long been “poverty hotspots” which have caused immeasurable suffering to its inhabitants.
No longer must this be the case.