Water experts, officials and community people at a dialogue have said the country needs to develop well-designed infrastructures in flood-prone areas for reducing frequency of flood.
Bangladesh experiences both flash and monsoon floods almost every as it lacks well-designed embankments and other infrastructures, they told the dialogue titled "Flood 2017: Situation and Doings" at the CIRDAP auditorium in the city on Thursday. Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) organised the event.
Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee Direndra Debnath Shaumu, eminent water expert Dr Ainun Nishat, economist Dr M Asaduzzaman, Executive Director of CPD Prof Fahmida Khatun, officials, water experts, representatives of different organisations and people from flood-affected areas, among others, addressed the dialogue with Distinguished Fellow of CPD Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya in the chair.
Senior Research Associates of CPD Md Zafar Sadique and Estiaque Bari jointly presented a keynote paper on flood-2017: Assessing damage and post- flood management.
Anisul said, "Netherlands has constructed embankments targeting 1000-year period to protect it from floods. Similarly, we can take plan for construction of embankment for a 100-year period to protect Bangladesh from flooding."
He urged the officials and local people to maintain embankments to make it sustainable which will eventually save the country from flood.
He said many major and small rivers and tributaries are facing serious navigability problem as all the rivers carry a huge quantity of sediment during rainy season every year.
"Our major and small rivers cannot contain much water during rainy season due to navigability problem, which is one of the main reasons for flooding in the country. Taking this into consideration, the government is carrying capital dredging to ensure adequate flow of water during rainy season," the minister added.
Dr Ainun said, "Weak and old-model infrastructures are largely responsible for flood. So, the government should concentrate on the construction of well- designed infrastructures with maintaining quality to stop frequency of flood."
Alongside taking structural measures, he said, the government must take non-structural initiatives including incorporating indigenous knowledge to flood and water-logging problems.
According to the keynote paper, Bangladesh has experienced two floods this year -- flash flood, during April, affected people living in the haor and low-lying areas of north-eastern region and monsoon flood beginning from late June affected 32 districts of Bangladesh.
The flash flood affected about 46.7 lakh people in haor region and estimated loss was about Taka 53,00 crore while monsoon flood affected 82 lakh people and estimated loss of rice production was about Taka 700 to 1800 crore, it added.