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’.
“Lessons for flood risk management from resilience framing in the Netherlands and Bangladesh” was an innovative workweek workshop conducted in the Netherlands under a WOTRO funded project from February 10-18, 2018. Nine young professionals from Bangladesh (junior staff of NGOs and universities) and nine advanced BSc and MSc students from the Netherlands participated in this creative and highly interactive project. From the DeltaCap project member (BCAS & WUR-POD, IWM) 3 young professionals also participate in the workshop. The aim of the group work is to find differences and similarities in resilience in the domain of water management in The Netherlands (NL) and Bangladesh (BD), and to formulate recommendations from this comparison on how we can continue to live in these locations in the longer term (100-500 years).
The ‘Hydro-Social Delta’ project is one of NWO’s projects from the ‘Urbanizing Deltas of the World’ program. They address the question of how municipalities and water boards can ‘land’ the concept of ‘resilience’ of a city – for example, after a flood – in reality. NWO has opted for the exchange project for Dordrecht because Dordrecht is leading the way in innovative thinking and doing in the field of water management. The second question is: can we apply the lessons from one situation to a situation elsewhere in the world? The aim of the project is also to teach students to ask critical questions, so that they dare to question assumptions and have the flexibility to possibly revise their own starting points. Participants were split into 3 groups with mixed disciplinary backgrounds and mixed nationalities. Each group work through the given questions on the Definition of flood resilience and assessment framework independently, in an iterative way. The assessment framework consists of the technical FRM system, physical system, social system (society, political, economic and institutional). Based on the field trip observation (excursion tour of Dordrecht & surrounding area on FRM approaches, Biesbosch museum Werkendam polder Noordwaard, Delta works), discussion with community people of Dordtrect city and sharing flood experience of Dhaka city, Bangladesh each group prepared presentation of their own work for the closure event on Friday 16 February PM.
Bangladesh Ambassador was present during the final presentation and was pleased to see deeper thinking and creative search for common grounds between our two countries and innovative solutions for areas where differences are hard to bridge. Deputy Mayor of Dordrecht and other academics from Wageningen UR, IHE Delft and others were present as panellists.
Professor Anna Wesselink was the moderator of the event and supervisor of this innovative project.
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:
- How can we develop information services that matter to people?
- 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.
To become a member of the DeltaCap network is free. The DeltaCap projects aims to support the capacity development required for putting the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, expected to be approved shortly, on the ground.
An important feature of DeltaCap is it’s flexible programming: every year the capacity development activities will be evaluated and further defined and detailed via an iterative process of consultation and learning. Your active participation in the DeltaCap network will be crucial for this process of joint exploration of the actual and future capacity development needs.
Participation in the DeltaCap network is open to professionals from governmental organizations, universities, scientific research institutes, civil society organizations, private companies and science-oriented foundations that have an interest in the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
To join the DeltaCap Network you are invited to download the DeltaCap App and fill out the form (it will only take 10 minutes of your time) in the mobile application (see back side for instructions to install the app). Being a member of the DeltaCap network means that you have access to the dashboard of DeltaCap, which provides actual and detailed information on the capacity development needs and progress. You will also receive the latest information about DeltaCap, like trainings being organized.
The DeltaCapp App can be downloaded from:
http://deltacap.mpower-social.com:5001/usermodule/login/?next=/. For more information on DeltaCap please go to https://deltacapproject.net/. For technical questions regarding the app please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please contact them or any other DeltaCAP team member to obtain a user ID and password.
 DeltaCap is financed by the Government of the Netherlands and by a partnership of knowledge institutions in Bangladesh and The Netherlands. DeltaCap has started in 2016 and will end in 2020.
How to install the App?
To download the DeltaCap App to your Android smartphone, you use the following steps:
Step 1: Go to the App store.
Step 2: Download the DeltaCap_apk file on your Android based smart phone.
Step 3: Tap on the downloaded Delta Cap application.
Step 4: Then click on settings.
Step 5: Then click and TAP ON Unknown Sources (Since it is not google Play Store) and click on ok.
Step 6: After that, click on next.
Step 7: Then click on install.
Step 8: The confirmation of DeltaCap Installation will be appeared on the mobile screen.
Step 9: Then search “DeltaCap” ICON in mobile wallpaper and click on it.
Step 10: Then please insert user ID: <> and Password: <>
Step 11: Tap on “New” option
Step 12: Tap on “Delta Monitoring and Evaluation Form”.
Step 13: Swipe the screen from right to left.
Step 14: Complete the form
After completing the form please click on “Save Form and Exit”. To send the data, please click on “Send Data” option and tap on the “Delta Monitoring and Evaluation Form” and then click on “Get Selected”. Now your data has been successfully sent.
You can also fill out the form through the Web Based DeltaCap Data Form. For that, please go to the link http://deltacap.mpower-social.com:5001/usermodule/login/?next=/.
Input user info: user ID and password. To input data please click on “New Submission”. The Web Based form will appear on the screen.
For any technical questions regarding the app please contact Mousumi Ansari of the DeltaCap team, Assistant Project Manager at mPower Social Enterprises Ltd. Contact No: 01964435653, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to be in touch!
The Institute of Water Modelling and partners of Delta Alliance Bangladesh Wing organized a seminar on Adaptive Delta Management: Bangladesh Perspective on 2 May 2017 at WARPO Conference Room, Dhaka. Prof. Dr. M. Monowar Hossain, Executive Director, IWM chaired the seminar.
The main objective of this workshop was to share information and receive feedback on the background, objective, setup and outline of the planned activities under the DeltaCap project.
Speakers of the inaugural session, chaired by Mr. Md. Jahangir Kabir, Director General BWDB, were Prof.Dr. Saiful Islam, Honorable Vice ChancellorBUET, Prof.Dr. Chris Zevenbergen, Chair Flood Resilience Core Group, UNESCO-IHE, Dr. Mashfiqus Salehin, Director IWFM BUET and Dr. Ataur Rahman, Head WRE BUET.
A technical session was held, chaired by Mr. Abu Saleh Khan, Deputy Executive Director, IWM. Key issues of this session were Sustainable Delta Management Centre, Measuring Impact DeltaCap, and Development Trainings, presentations by Prof.Dr. Shah Alam Khan, BUET, Mr. Hasib Ahsan, M. Power and Ms. Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Wageningen Environmental Research.
Venue: Council Building, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh
On 16th of January 2017, DeltaCap will hold the project inception workshop. The event will be participated by a broad range of professional, academic and community stakeholders related to the Bangladesh Delta Plan. The goals of this event are to share information and receive feedback on the background, objective, setup and outline of the planned activities under the DeltaCap project.
9.30 – Registration
Will be chaired by Mr. Md. Jahangir Kabir, Director General, BWDB
10.00 – Welcome Address by Director, IWFM, BUET
10.05 – Overview of DeltaCap project by Prof. Chris Zevenbergen, Lead, DeltaCap Project
10.30 – Inaugural Address by Vice Chancellor, BUET
10.40 – Session Closing Address by Chairperson, DG, BWDB
10.50 – Vote of Thanks by Head, WRE, BUET
11.00 – Tea
Will be chaired by Mr. Abu Saleh Khan, Deputy Executive Director (Opn), IWM
11.15 – Sustainable Delta Management Centre by Prof. Shah Alam Khan, IWFM, BUET
11.30 – Measuring impact DeltaCap: demonstration M&E tool by Mr. Hasib Ahsan, mPower
11.45 – Development of training by Ms. Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Wageningen UR
12.00 – Group discussions
12.45 – Plenary reporting and discussion
13.30 – Closure by Chairperson, DED (Opn), IWM
13.40 – Lunch
Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Vietnam and beyond with support of Nuffic-NICHE organized the training workshop
Participatory Planning Tools for Strategic Delta Planning & Management. The aim of the training workshop was to bring
together professionals from river deltas like the Mekong Delta, Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Ayeyarwady Delta, and
Ciliwung Delta who play or will play key roles in delta planning and make them aware of different types of participatory
strategic planning approaches, identify feasible approaches and methods given the local contexts and share
experiences among the various deltas. In total 45 people from 6 countries participated in the workshop.
Written by Alan Hodgson & Chris Zevenbergen, on 3 January 2017
(Originally appeared in UNESCO-IHE web site)
Bangladesh and the Netherlands have a long history of cooperation over water issues. Both countries face similar challenges with low lying deltas vulnerable to flooding which affects densely populated areas. However, alongside these similarities, are different approaches to solutions. The Netherlands has typically focussed on prevention using large infrastructure solutions, while Bangladesh has more prominently relied on preparedness. Consequently both countries have much to learn from each other and have been doing so over the last decades, with UNESCO-IHE at the table through-out.
THE MULTIPLE CHALLENGES OF A COUNTRY THAT IS A DELTA, ALONG A VULNERABLE COASTAL AREA
As the largest delta in the world and with a population well over 150 million, Bangladesh is a country that faces formidable challenges. Its low-lying coastal regions often experience tropical cyclones and monsoon flooding (affecting up to 25% of the country annually) bringing widespread devastation, including a risk to life, destruction to property and causing health problems through the transmission of disease and contaminated drinking water. At the same time its rivers and floodplains, which make up 80% of the country, support life, livelihoods and the economy. Climate change, combined with rapid population growth, is likely to make the situation worse. Some estimates suggest that by 2050 an extra 15% of the country could be vulnerable to flooding, impacting more than 30 million people in the coastal districts. In addition to regularly bearing the brunt of natural hazards, according to the UN in excess of 63 million people live below the poverty line, with the ensuing impact on health and education levels.
Despite these challenges, Bangladesh is striving to attain middle-income status by 2021, reducing poverty levels across the board while increasing livelihoods and achieving sustainable growth. Recent years have seen rapid industrialization and a spike in rural to urban migration. It has been widely acknowledged that the country has made remarkable progress, with its economic model delivering growth at around 6% per year and reducing extreme poverty from the 50% levels of 2000, to around 30% in 2010 (UNDP).
Bangladesh met many of its Millennium Development Goal targets, increasing primary school enrolment, gender parity in schools and food security, while lowering infant and maternal mortality. A large part of the future challenge will be to ensure that economic and social development does not come at the cost of environmental considerations, including effective water management and the reduction of water related risks.
MAINTAINING DEVELOPMENT RELEVANCE
From the beginning, UNESCO-IHE’s capacity building work with Bangladesh has often been conducted through the framework of agreements reached between the
governments of the Netherlands and Bangladesh. A recently published overview of this decades-long cooperation clustered the resulting initiatives around five thematic areas: water resource management, coastal zone management, socio-economic development, food security and land reclamation. Throughout this period UNESCO-IHE has had to adapt to the changing development landscape in order to continue to maintain its development relevance and continue to offer added value.
Initial water management interventions in Bangladesh were often characterised as being of the technical, stand-alone variety. For example the 1964 Master Plan created large scale drainage and/or irrigation infrastructure. However, subsequently it became clear that these predominantly engineering-led solutions often neglected to adequately consider their impact on industrial and domestic water use, fishing and bio-diversity, amongst other concerns. A consequence was a growing understanding amongst development actors, including UNESCO-IHE, of the need for an integrated approach to the cultivation of land, water and human potential. Additionally, it was understood that to truly maximize impact, initiatives should be participatory, involving key stakeholders in decision making.
Embracing these new paradigms UNESCO-IHE and its alumni have contributed, down the years, to efforts that build on improvements to the functioning of the surrounding water systems, policies and practices, with varying degrees of success. Early initiatives such as The Delta Development Project (1976) sought to increase benefits across a number of inter-related spheres including flood resilience, poverty alleviation, agricultural productivity, livelihoods and social services. The decades since have also seen many initiatives seeking an integrated balance between socio/economic development and water-related technological advance such as the Land Reclamation Projects (1977) the Compartmentalization Project (1990), the Char Development and Settlement Project-I (CDSP-I 1994/1999), followed by CDSP-II, CDSP-III and CDSP-IV, the Dutch funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (2005) and the recently closed Water Management Improvement Project (2007). Despite successes, water management efforts were often still implemented in relative isolation, sometimes also lacking the necessary broad stakeholder support to create longer term traction.
TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED, LONG TERM WATER MANAGEMENT VISION FOR BANGLADESH
Drawing on the collective experience of both the successes and failings of water management efforts, in order to respond to current and future water related threats, the Bangladesh Government has set out Delta Plan 2100. This water safety and food security strategic vision for Bangladesh, developed since its inauguration in 2014 with a consortium of Bangladeshi and Dutch experts including UNESCO-IHE, proposes long-term coordinated planning. The plan, which is led by the Bangladesh General Economics Division of the Ministry of Planning, will enable adaptive water governance where management and water related policies can be decentralized, while still allowing the relevant sectors to cooperate. Operating under this overarching strategy, encompassing 19 issues arranged into 8 operational blocks, projects will be aligned in such a way as to function as pathways towards the vision and desirable impact.
The Delta Plan is designed to deliver holistic impact including natural resource conservation (especially of the river floodplains and coastal ecosystems), good governance (through a focus on strengthening institutional arrangements) and capacity building, increasing equality and justice across sectors. The plan, which is exploring sustainable funding mechanisms with provision from the Dutch Government as well as the World Bank, also crucially contributes to Bangladesh’s economic growth and poverty alleviation ambitions by providing access for Dutch business to the Bangladesh market.
DELTACAP: UNESCO-IHE’S CONTRIBUTION TO DEVELOPING THE WATER PROFESSIONALS OF THE FUTURE
For the Delta Plan to succeed requires skilled and experienced water professionals able to understand and respond to the complexity of current and future water-related challenges. Deltacap (2017-2020) is a project which has just launched, jointly led by UNESCO-IHE and Wageningen University and Research and implemented in close cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh. It is set up to develop water management skills and capacity, through training and knowledge transfer opportunities.
UNESCO-IHE will be involved in enabling an understanding about, and use of, longer term planning tools. These include: integrated assessments and scenario building; coordination of planning and maintenance at national level with that at local/district level; development of integrated, pro-poor, ecosystem based and gender-sensitive solutions; use of participatory water management techniques; integrated and inter-sectoral assessments for longer term planning, vulnerability and risk assessment; policy development for transboundary water management and diplomacy; and identification/integration of multi-benefits to end-users. The Institute will contribute to the development and facilitation of training activities as well as the creation of a Sustainable Delta Management Centre, a knowledge sharing hub for lectures, practical exercises as well as the collation and assessment of field work. It will also coordinate capacity development initiatives in Bangladesh.
Working through the Bangladesh Wing of the Delta Alliance, a knowledge-driven network of delta professionals, will give DeltaCap two principle advantages. Firstly, it will help with the coordination of the numerous Bangladeshi delta management entities which function both as providers and recipients of new knowledge. Secondly, as sustainable delta management activities need scaling up nationally, the project can benefit from the support of the Delta Alliance through Bangladesh Wing partners. Internationally it can also be replicated across other deltas, tailored to specific regional needs.