Bangladesh – Rights groups demand reformation of Water Board

Rights groups have demanded reforming the Bangladesh Water Development Board to save the nation’s coastal lands and its people as the board is failing to carry out its duties.They have also demanded ending the illicit ties and business between WDB and its contractors at a human chain on Saturday in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka.

The government must save our coastal areas and residents there, as people have a fundamental right to security, said Kader Hazari, executive director of Arpon.

The programme was jointly organised by non-governmental organisations including Unnayan Dhara Trust, Udayan Bangladesh, SDO and Coast Trust.

Md Asif Iqbal of Muktir Dak said: “The government has been over emphasising infrastructure and export-led economic growth rather than giving importance to critical infrastructure to protect coastal lands and people.”

He also urged the government to allocate an adequate and reasonable amount to save the coast in the upcoming 2017-18 national budget.

Appealing to the prime minister, Mostafa Kamal Akand of Coast Trust said: “The ongoing embankment works should be completed before the rainy season begins. Otherwise, residents of Monpura, Kutubdia, and areas affected by Roanu will suffer and be at risk of displacement.”

He too asked for immediate action to be taken to reform the WDB for the nation’s benefit.

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