Mott MacDonald has been appointed by The Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Dhaka as technical advisor for the Char Development and Settlement Project – Bridging (CDSP-B) in Bangladesh.
The estuary of the lower Megna is a highly dynamic morphological system, involving simultaneous processes of accretion and erosion of land. Since most of the area is quite densely populated, this creates displacement of families losing their homestead and agricultural land. At the same time, the accretion of land has been providing new land suitable for settlement. This is a continuous process providing opportunities for resettlement and development.
The Netherlands has supported the development of newly accreted land and the settlement of these lands since 1994, through successive phases of the Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP phases I to IV) and will do so in this three years’ Bridging project.
The overall objective of CDSP-B is to reduce poverty and hunger for poor people living on newly accreted coastal chars, which would be achieved via improved and more secure livelihoods. A first specific objective will be to consolidate the achievements of the earlier CDSP phases I to IV. A second objective is the preparation of future investments in char development in the South Eastern delta.
The project involves six agencies of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB): Bangladesh Water Development Board as the lead agency, Local Government Engineering Department, Department of Public Health Engineering, Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Forestry and Ministry of Land.
Mott MacDonald will help address the challenges affecting these char lands and their inhabitants by providing protection from salt water intrusion and flooding, ensuring access to potable water, introducing and disseminating appropriate agricultural technologies and practices as well as building communications infrastructure within the char to connect it to external markets and population centres. The company will also undertake a strategic planning exercise for future land development and settlement, based on detailed knowledge of the hydro-morphological characteristics. In addition, the consultancy will assist in the design of a more permanent institutional and organisational arrangements or structure which will be able to act as planning and coordination mechanism between the GoB agencies involved.
Hero Heering, Mott MacDonald’s project director said: “This project will provide security and homes for thousands of people and we are proud to be involved. Mott MacDonald has a long-standing relationship with both the EKN and the Bangladesh Water Development Board and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with this important scheme.”
The value of the CDSP-B project is estimated to be USD 54.7 million. Of this, USD 20.6 million will be funded via an IFAD loan, USD 5.7 million by a grant from the Government of The Netherlands, USD 24.6 million from the Government of Bangladesh, USD 3.7 million from participating NGOs (for micro-credit), and about USD 0.77 million from beneficiaries.