The Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Ministry plans to construct permanent residences for ultra-poor in the coastal char areas and develop road communications there to improve their living standards.
The ministry has initiated a project ‘Char Development and Settlement Project-Bridging (Additional Allocation) (LGED Part)’ aiming to benefit about six lakh ultra-poor at the coastal char areas.
The project is expected improve the local trade and transport system by rehabilitation and maintenance of the physical infrastructures of road networks and trade hubs.
Cyclone shelters will also be constructed for the people of coastal char areas under the project.
Once implemented, the project will increase agriculture production using modern technology and reduce poverty in the char areas in Hatiya, Subarna Char and Companiganj of Noakhali and Monpura in Bhola, a senior official of the Planning Commission told The Business Post.
The executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) recently approved the proposal.
The project aims to allot khas land among the ultra-poor for their permanent rehabilitation.
The estimated project cost is Tk 106.84 crore of which Tk 72.49 crore will come from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Tk 34.34 crore from the government exchequer. The project will be implemented by 2022.
The IFAD has already conducted a feasibility study of the project. The project aims to ensure the safe rehabilitation of these people and develop their livelihoods.
The main components of the project are the construction 138km village roads, sluice gate, establishment of four grounds, embankments and constriction of 35 box culverts of the area.
Bangladesh starts char development and settlement works to rehabilitate landless people with the financial and technical cooperation of the Netherlands government since 1980.
The government has taken Char Development and Settlement Project in four phases between 1994 and 2018 to allocate khas land among the landless people along with road communication development in the southern region especially in Noakhali, according to the project proposal.
About 45,000 acres of land has been raised from the sea. The land ministry developed the land and rehabilitated there 35,000 people who were victims of river erosion across the country in the past 25 years. Those landless people were given land for constructing their houses and cultivation to improve their living standards.
With two-thirds of its territory less than five metres above sea level, Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to climate change, the proposal also said.