Under the umbrella of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 a raft of projects ranging from building heavy infrastructure, improving community resilience to building institutional capacities and planning of land use will be implemented. These projects require diverse professional expertise at various stages of planning such as planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the projects in the coming 2 decades. DeltaCap has conducted a first needs assessment using a simple assessment tool to facilitate discussions among the stakeholders. Over the past 6 months discussions were held among various stakeholders of BDP2100 using the tool. In addition, specific inputs were sought from high level stakeholders such as General Economic division of Planning Commission (GED), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and Water Resources and Planning Organisation (WARPO) to complement this assessment. Specific inputs were obtained through one to one interviews.
In parallel with the activities mentioned above, DeltaCap has started discussions with the staff of the Dutch Delta Commissioner and the Director of the Dutch Flood Protection Program (as being one of the program which runs under the umbrella of the Dutch Delta Program), Mr. Richard Jorissen (see picture), on the capacity needs for the Dutch Delta Program. Questions which are central in the discussions are: What are the capacity needs? What tools/methods have been used to arrive at an assessment and how is capacity development being organized/who is responsible for capacity development within the program?
The ultimate aim of these discussions is to explore whether there are lessons to be learned for both countries and to identify opportunities for future collaboration in this specific area.
The findings of the above are currently being analyzed and will be captured in a report which will be discussed in the forthcoming DeltaCap management meeting to held in Dhaka in September 2018.
Photo: Meeting with ir. Richard Jorissen, Director Dutch Flood Protection Program and dr. Mohan Radhakrishnan (DeltaCap) and prof. Chris Zevenbergen (Deltacap)(29 June 2018)
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. Smallholder farming communities in peri-urban Khulna are highly vulnerable to hydro-climatic disasters caused by climate change and unplanned urbanization. While available information and technology could help farmers by taking informed decisions, the peri-urban farming communities of Khulna still lack access to weather and water related information services well in advance and meaningful way. To fulfil this gap, Waterapps Project (www.waterapps.net) funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), started research initiative on ‘Participatory Development of Information Services’ with and for farmers in peri-urban Khulna, Bangladesh.
To date Waterapps Project organized several multi-stakeholders workshops in Khulna to bridge gaps between service developers and service providers including intermediaries from the idea of collaborative learning by doing approach of participatory action research. The Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) Workshop held in Khulna on 6th May 2018. The Workshop jointly organized by the University of Khulna, CIMMYT, Reading University, the DeltaCAP (www.deltacapproject.net) and WaterApps (www.waterapps.net) Projects. In the workshop service developers, service providers and researchers joined together to explore existing farming practices of smallholder farmers in peri-urban Khulna, and to understand information needs for better agricultural decisions in the context of climate change and urbanisation. This workshop held from an early inspiration of PICSA for Bangladesh. This workshop also bridge an important gap among researchers team currently working for Participatory Climate Service Development in Bangladesh.
This article was written by Uthpal Kumar and Saskia Werners on May 6, 2018.
23-Apr-2018, Dhaka. Prof. Umme Kulsum Navera (DWRE, BUET) and Prof. Shah Alam Khan (IWFM, BUET), together with Associate Professor Assela Pathirana of IHE-Delft Institute of water education, met with the Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Saiful Islam (CEng FIET FIEB FBCS SrMIEE). Prof. Islam is also a senior scientist and Professor in the field of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and has an active research career in addition to the responsibilities of the office of the Vice-Chancellor. He completed his PhD at the Cambridge University in 1986.
The objective of the meeting was to Brief the Vice-Chancellor on the activities of the DeltaCAP Project which is concerned with providing capacity support to realize Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. DeltaCAP is funded by the government of the Netherlands through Nuffic-NICHE. Delta Alliance Bangladesh Wing, BUET being an active member of the Wing, is the partner in the DeltaCAP project in Bangladesh.
One of the important aspects of the DeltaCAP project is to establish an inter-agency knowledge centre, a ‘Delta Centre’ represented by all partners of the Wing, which will play an important role in capacity development and knowledge co-creation for delta-planning and implementation in Bangladesh. The centre will be a virtual cluster entity which will act as a liaison among the existing and new capacity building entities (e.g. training institutes) of various agencies. DeltaCAP proposed that BUET also implement one of such entities – a ’Delta Centre BUET’ – which will work as a delta knowledge institution and collaborate with other agencies for capacity building and knowledge generation. The feasibility of offering online professional courses and joint degrees in the longer term was also discussed during this meeting.
Prof Umme Kulsum Navera of the Department of Water Resources Engineering, BUET, Bangladesh, traveled to the Netherlands early April to participate as a member of the promotion committee of Rumana Hossain, who successfully defended her PhD thesis ‘Impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems of Bangladesh’ at Wageningen University.
During this brief visit, Prof Navera took the opportunity to meet some prominent researchers in the water sector at Wageningen University and also visited recent water management improvements for the river Rijn/Waal at the city of Nijmegen, near Lent and in the Ooijpolder, all part of the ‘Room for the River’ program
After visiting the project she expressed her feelings: ‘I find it interesting to see and learn how in the Netherlands people work and live with water and climate change. Based on our own experience and inspired with new knowledge, we can work out how to face the challenges for improvements in our delta country Bangladesh’.