For many years, Bangladesh has been facing a number of delta related challenges in the form of frequent natural hazards, salinity intrusion, sea level rise, and so on. Thus already Bangladesh has gone through a high pressure on its land and water resources. It is also to note that Bangladesh as a delta country has had some privileges nonetheless. In order to explore and tap the full potential of a delta country, making a strategic delta management plan is more than a necessity. As Bangladesh is vulnerable to these challenges as well as climate change impacts, sustainable developments require the caliber to cope with climatic variables. Such challenges indeed require the proper implementation of the government’s visionary “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100”. In a bid to deal with issues like climate change, water resources management and so many others, the government approved a fifty to hundred years’ long “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” in September last year.
BDP 2100 is indeed the combination of long-term strategies and subsequent interventions for ensuring long term water and food security, economic growth and environmental sustainability while effectively reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and building resilience to climate change and other delta challenges through robust, adaptive and integrated strategies, and equitable water governance.
It is envisaged that ‘BDP 2100’ will enable the country to deal with climate change in a more efficient and strategic way. Most importantly, ‘BDP 2100’ will help the country reclaim a big mass of land from the Bay of Bengal. Hence it can be hoped that the proper implementation of the project will be the key to tackle climate change challenges.
As most of the finance will come through the foreign agencies and most of the project consultants deployed to operate and implement the project are from abroad, a strict monitoring will be pertinent while implementing the project. After implementing its own delta management plan, Netherlands, reclaimed 6,000 square kilometres of land and the country is now assisting Bangladesh in executing the plan. However, following Netherlands, Bangladesh should also try to reclaim a big mass of land from the Bay of Bengal through implementing ‘BDP 2100’.
Every year rivers from Himalayas bring tonnes of sediments while crossing Bangladesh, which earlier gave birth to some 1,000 square kilometres of land. Experts envisage that through this process in the next 50 years Bangladesh can reclaim at least 1,000 square kilometres naturally. However, it is said that with the use of new technology, Bangladesh could speed up the accretion process as Netherlands did. In this regard, building more dams using advanced technology is very much needed which would enable Bangladesh to reclaim 4,000 to 5,000 square kilometres in the near future.
It is sad but true that no earlier government in Bangladesh devised any plan to explore such potential of being a delta country. Over the years, no plans have been devised to build infrastructures needed to accelerate the process. But now the government has come up with a more consistent and strategic way to deal the issue. Hence, it can be hoped that instead of losing landmass because of sea level rise, Bangladesh will reclaim landmass through water resource management.