Bangladesh builds ma­jor re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject for ‘cli­mate refugees’

Fiji Sun - - ASIA/CHINA NEWS - Feed­back: rosi.doviverata@fi­jisun.com.fj

A mega re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject touted as the world’s largest is be­ing im­ple­mented in Bangladesh to house tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies called cli­mate refugees.

The Bishesh As­rayan Prakalpa (spe­cial housing pro­ject), the brain­child of Bangladesh­i Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina, sprawls across 250 acres of land at Khu­rushkul on the out­skirts of Bangladesh’s seabeach town Cox’s Bazar, some 392 km south­east of cap­i­tal Dhaka. In or­der to re­duce poverty by pro­vid­ing housing and in­come gen­er­at­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for cli­mate vic­tims, of­fi­cials said Ms Hasina has been im­ple­ment­ing the mega re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­ject.

This is part of her gov­ern­ment’s pledge to free Bangladesh from poverty, hunger and home­less­ness. Hundreds of thou­sands of peo­ple in the coun­try have be­come vic­tims of cli­mate change in the re­cent years and have be­come “cli­mate refugees” in their own coun­try. Bangladesh is cur­rently fac­ing with fre­quent floods, cy­clones, pro­longed dry sea­son and ero­sion of river banks which make its tra­di­tional ge­o­graphic places in­hos­pitable to hu­man habi­ta­tion and se­cure liveli­hoods.

Un­der the pro­ject, Bangladesh­i PM’s Deputy Press Sec­re­tary Hasan Jahid Tusher told Xin­hua last Thurs­day that 139 build­ings with 32 flats each will be built at Khu­rushkul in Cox’s Bazar to re­ha­bil­i­tate cli­mate refugees who were dis­placed due to a dev­as­tat­ing su­per cy­clone in 1991.

“Such cli­mate re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion here is the world’s first and it can be an ex­am­ple for other coun­tries to fol­low,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial, a to­tal of 4408 peo­ple will be re­ha­bil­i­tated there by 2023.

At least 20 five-storey struc­tures, each hav­ing 32 flats, with all ba­sic amenities have al­ready been con­structed in the first phase of the pro­ject. Ms Hasina last Thurs­day in­au­gu­rated the struc­tures through a video­con­fer­ence from her of­fi­cial Gono Bha­ban res­i­dence.

At least 600 fam­i­lies got their new abodes with all mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties in the struc­tures which are equipped with a ramp sys­tem for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, so­lar pan­els, safe drink­ing wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, san­i­ta­tion, waste man­age­ment, drainage, cylin­der gas and burn­ers. Xin­hua

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