Developing capacity to manage floods in Bangladesh

The recent monsoon-driven floods in south Asia severely impact food security of Bangladesh. Early arrival of this year’s flash floods in the northeast and monsoon floods in the northwest destroyed the harvest of the majority of the rice-paddy fields of the country, depriving Bangladesh of nearly 1/6thof its total rice production. Furthermore, dike breaches and overtopping of rivers in the vast river delta of Bangladesh caused flooding of many towns and villages and caused extensive damage to Bangladesh’s infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Nevertheless, given the severity of the floods, the impacts in terms of fatalities were significantly smaller than those from similar floods decades ago. This suggests that the preparedness of Bangladeshi’s to floods has increased.

Professor Chris Zevenbergen, William Veerbeek and dr. Assela Pathirana from the Flood Resilience chair group are currently involved in projects in Bangladesh to accelerating this trend towards lower flood impacts. They do this by introducing and implementing innovate yet locally adapted flood proofing technologies in the NWO-funded CORE Bangladesh project. They are also involved in an initiative spearheaded by dr. Aby Syed of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies to upscale flood resilient housing in villages in Rangpur of Bangladesh which have been destroyed by the recent floods (see pictures). On a more strategic level, they empower all water-related agencies to adopt Bangladesh’s new long term water policy: the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. In the NICHE-funded project DeltaCAP, a “train-the-trainers” program on adaptive delta management is developed which should be disseminated to water professionals all over Bangladesh. Projects like these should further prepare Bangladesh for the many water challenges in the future.

Picture 1: Teesta flood water washed away a portion of the road infrastructure in Dinajpur and the surrounding homes. (photo by The Daily Ittefaq, August 13, 2017)

Picture 2: A flood resilient house in Char Haibat in Rangpur which has not been effected by the recent flash flood. (photo taken by Chris Zevenbergen on September 22, 2017)

Workshop on Information Services for Farmers in Peri-Urban Khulna

Workshop on Information Services for Farmers in Peri-Urban Khulna

The ‘Workshop on Information Services for Participatory Water Management’ in Peri-Urban Khulna was jointly organized by the DeltaCAP (www.deltacapproject.net) and WaterApps (www.waterapps.net) projects from 27-29th November, 2017. The venue of the workshop was CSS AVA centre and Khulna University. In the 2nd day of the workshop there was a field visit in 2 areas of Rupsha and Batiaghata Upazila of Khulna.  

Information services, such as weather forecasts or forecasts of water levels, can help farmers and other water users to manage water resources and take farm decisions.

The workshop aims to understand:

  1. How can we develop information services that matter to people?
  2. Is training on participatory development and use of water and climate information a capacity you want to develop in your organisation?

The workshop has a dual objective:

  • With farmers and agriculture officers: What are information needs? Progress towards the participatory development of climate services and capacity in Botiaghata and Rupsha sub-district.
  • With service providers (water & climate data and extension): how can we develop information services that matter to people? Is training on participatory development and / or use of climate services a capacity you want to develop in your organisation?

The workshop was conducted as learning-by-doing approach by engaging potential service providers and service receivers, to co-develop these services. The approach of the work has a challenge of providing hydro-climatic information services to farmers and water managers in peri-urban Khulna. Examples of such information are weather forecasts, seasonal forecasts, and forecasts of water levels and salinity in support of on-farm decisions. By starting from this example, the outcome of this workshop is to 1) assess the interest of information service providers, such DAE, BMD, BWDB, LGED, research institutes and NGOs, to provide these information services to their partners and constituents, and 2) build capacity with these organisation to do so if desired. The choice to focus on hydro-climatic information services will be evaluated after one year, after which other services can be proposed.
 

 

For more details please contact- Saskia Werners  ; Uthpal Kumar