Call to formulate guideline
Friday, 01 February 2008

Dev of haor people

Staff Correspondent Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge on Wednesday demanded formulating a concrete guideline for sustainable agricultural development and economic justice for about 2 crore people in haor areas.

BARCIK made the demand at a press conference organised by Sunamganj Haorbasi Rakkha Nagarik Udoyg, Sunamganj Bar Association and Actionaid Bangla-desh at Dhaka Reporters Unity.

At the press conference, the organisers placed a 14-point demand including declaring the haor areas as a special zone.

They termed their demands as ‘Sunamganj Declaration’ which was read out by Haorbasi Rakkha Nagarik Udoyg convener Nirmol Bhattacharya.

Other demands include making National Haor and Wetland Development Broad functional through restructure, demarcation of all the water bodies in haor areas, development of communication and infrastructure, making separate academic calendar for haor areas, appointment of experienced physicians in government healthcare centres in haor areas.

They also called upon the government to take afforestation programme in haor areas to protect ecology and environment, strengthen local government, take necessary steps for women empowerment, ensure access to information and take initiatives to protect the culture of the haor people.

‘We hope that the government will take into account these demands to help ensure sustainable agricultural development and economic justice for the haor people,’ Nirmol said. Due to uncoordinated development efforts in haor areas, he said, the haor people were not getting benefits from such initiatives.

‘Inconsistent national policies are one of the major obstacles to these efforts.’ Sunamganj declaration was made at the first haor conference held in Sunamganj from December 2-3 in 2007.

The draft was finalised after taking opinions from the haor people, he added.

Zahir Ahmed of Sunamganj Bar Association, Pavel Partha, researcher of BARCIK, Farhat Jahan of Actionaid Bangladesh, Bijon Sen Roy, editor of the weekly Sunamganj, Nurul Amin of Shanir Haor Rakkha Committee, and Jahangir Alam of Udichi Shilpa Gosthi, among others, attended the conference.

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