Jamuna river erosion and impacts

It’s all about a story of river erosion. This story may or may not connect with climatic change but people believe it’s an after affect of melting of Himalayan Glacier. No matter this erosion factor connected with climate change or not (it’s a continuous debt) but people are suffering and that’s the only point I was trying to make. People of Sirajgonj district who are living just by the bank of Jamuna River, affected by the mighty river.
I tried to focus on the

At-risk countries need shared climate solutions – experts

Author: Pantho Rahaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Climate-vulnerable countries should join forces to combat disaster risks by sharing information and seeking common solutions, experts at a community-based adaptation conference said this week.

“Countries, facing similar kinds of climatic hazards, could share their own experiences of risk and adaptation policy as an allied group to fight natural disasters together,” said Ainun Nishat, a leading Bangladeshi climate and water expert, at the Seventh International Community-Based Adaptation Conference, organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Maldives, which share similar coastal areas, for instance, might benefit by planning together to deal with hazards such as flooding and storms, the experts said.

“A joint strategy involving sharing of data, process and approach could be a viable move,” said Nishat.

In particular, South Asian nations could learn from Bangladesh’s adaptation policies, the experts said. The country has had significant success in reducing cyclone deaths using fortified storm shelters and early warning systems.

“Bangladesh can be the role model for adaptation methods because lessons have been learned and applied here,” said Robert Juhkam, deputy country head for the U.N. Development Programme in Bangladesh.

What he called the country’s “own unique” adaptation methods “have delivered results,” he said.

Nishat agreed that “if cyclone centre establishments or early alert systems are the priorities, then this country can provide the best examples.”

Negussie Kefeni, an Ethiopian speaker at the conference, noted that both coastal and inland communities are at risk of climate impacts in many countries, and that all countries needed to act.

“As climate change impact reaches all nations, every country should make their contribution to save our world,” he said.


Quick decision-making processes, supported by political will, are crucial elements for a sustainable adaptation policy, the experts said.

Laura Bill, a UNICEF representative, said adaptation is an ongoing natural process for most coastal people. She underscored the need to focus on a range of needs of climate-affected people.

Bangladesh Minister for Environment and Forest, Hasan Mahmud, said both governments and non-governmental organizations need to be part of planning, as both respond during natural calamities. But affected people, most importantly, need to be consulted, he said.

Among Bangladesh’s policies for dealing with coastal emergencies is the Fruits, Fish and Forest policy, under which the government has offered more than 100 hectares of unused coastal land to rehabilitate 1,000 families hit by coastal disasters, Juhkam said.

“This policy helps restructure nature and provide victims with financial support,” he said.

Many participants in the conference underlined the need to engage local communities in disaster-reduction efforts and create links with local as well as central governments.

Nishat suggested that while it’s vital to consult communities that face natural disasters before making a plan to deal with such dangers, special caution should be applied so that traditional practices are not sacrificed.

Experts pointed out that in trying to develop adaptation plans, Bangladesh did not wait for foreign aid but created its own fund of $350 million for adaptation.

Pantho Rahaman is a senior journalist based in Dhaka.

Sorce: http://www.trust.org/item/20130427224151-n9xhs/?source=hptop

Stalled water-sharing treaty frustrates Bangladesh

Llink: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/stalled-water-sharing-treaty-frustrates-bangladesh/

By Pantho Rahaman

DHAKA (AlertNet) – Bangladeshi Foreign minister Dipu Moni is nothing if not optimistic. Asked about the possibility of agreeing with India on the fair distribution of water from the Teesta river, she insists that “We are hopeful of having a balanced treaty for Teesta water sharing between our two friendly countries.”

But Moni’s upbeat tone is not shared by those who live on the banks of the river in the north of Bangladesh. They say the flow of water from India, where the Teesta originates, is falling, leaving them short of badly needed water for irrigation and affecting rice production.

“The shortages of water are enormous and we are the main sufferers from that,” said Oliur Rahman, a farmer from Nilphamari district. “Things are changing rapidly.”

Bangladeshi experts claim that India is taking too great a share of the Teesta’s flow in an effort to shore up its own water security. The river flows for 315 km (197 miles), 130 km (81 miles) of which are through Bangladesh.

India “built a barrage at Gazaldoba (on the Teesta) and is taking a huge amount of water for their cultivation,” said Ainun Nishat, a water expert and vice-chancellor of BRAC University in Dhaka.

The worsening water shortage means the Teesta Irrigation Project, built in Bangladesh in the 1980s, is no longer functioning, said Mohammed Mainuddin, a Bangladeshi hydrologist and research scientist working in Australia.

Lower water flows on the river are “having a serious impact on agricultural production and the livelihoods of millions of people living in the area,” he said, and are leading to a build-up of silt in the riverbed, which is decreasing the river’s capacity.

“If this continues for long, in the future the river may not exist or may disappear like many others small rivers in Bangladesh,” Mainuddin warned. “I think the main and maybe the only cause of water shortages on the Teesta in Bangladesh is the diversion of water upstream in India.”

However, changes in rainfall patterns, linked to climate change, may also be reducing the river’s overall flow, some experts say.


Agreeing a deal to share the Teesta’s waters equitably is one of Bangladesh’s highest priorities in its relations with neighbouring India. A treaty was on the verge of being signed last year during a visit by India’s prime minister, but was postponed at the last minute when Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the Indian state of West Bengal, pulled out.

Because the Teesta flows through West Bengal, the state must give its assent to the treaty before the federal government can present it for signing.

“Mamata denied the deal by saying it’s unfair, while Indian critics or columnists are writing (that) Mamata was trying to pressure Indian central government to (provide) more financial assistance for her province,” said Amena Mohsin, professor of international relations at the University of Dhaka.

He believes that “Teesta is just a game for her.”

While details of the treaty were not officially made public, there was speculation that an agreement had been reached to assign 48 percent of the Teesta’s water to Bangladesh and 52 percent to India, but that Banerjee was demanding 75 percent for her country.

Commenting on the treaty deadlock, Nishat, who was an architect of the 1996 Ganges Water Sharing Treaty between Bangladesh and India, said, “Since there is so much politics surrounding it, a political consensus on the issue is essential.”

“We set up a treaty for Ganges water-sharing by setting up a goal based on some common ground of interests,” observed Nishat. “But this time it’s really difficult, especially where a third party (Banerjee) is involved.”

Many in Bangladesh feel aggrieved by Banerjee’s hardline stance. But Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, stressed his country’s long-term friendship with India and said that both nations were trying to carve out a win-win situation.

“We are not frustrated with our neighbour but both countries are waiting for a mutually beneficial treaty which, I hope, will happen soon,” Rizvi said.

However, one foreign ministry official who requested anonymity, was less sanguine.

“Bangladesh is the helpless victim in this wrangling and the Teesta treaty is being used as a bargaining chip,” the official said.

Pantho Rahaman is a senior journalist based in Dhaka.

Teesta water sharing

“Teesta River and it’s impact on the Bangladesh’s environment and climate.

Op-ed about Teesta River

m, India and then it’s flow towards Bangladesh. Almost 30 million Bangladeshis are depending on that river water in many ways. Farmers, who produce rice and other crops used to use that water for their irrigation. But now a days water is coming less then before. Bangladesh claimed this shortages is destroying Bangladesh and country’s farmers. They also claimed; India is diverting water from their part; as they are the upper riparian side. For this shortages affected climate & environment of this country, which is overwhelming.”