Twenty-three rights groups on Tuesday demanded immediate steps to save Monpura island in Bhola from the river erosion, reports UNB.
They also demanded transparency and accountability in the work of Water Development Board (WDB).
The demands were made at a human chain programme formed by the right groups, including Bangladesh Krishak Federation, COAST Trust, Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Unnayan Dhara Trust, Bangladesh Paribesh Bachao Andolon and EquityBD in front of the Jatiya Press Club.
Moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust, the programme was addressed, among others, by Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Subal Sarkar of Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Mihir Biswas of Bangladesh Paribesh Bachao Andolon and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD .
Two adolescents of Monpura island — Sabia Akhter Mim and Md Sajib - also narrated their sufferings caused by the river erosion and climate change.
In his address, Babul said, “We must save our coastal areas and coastal people. We must save the Monpura island.To save the island, perfect and proper utilisation of budget allocation must be ensured. The WDB must be transparent and free from corruption.”
Zayed Iqbal Khan said the island lost 34 square kilometres of its land from 1973 to 2010, underscoring the need for concrete blocks to save its people.
Subal Sarkar said around 20 villages and 10 bazaars have vanished into the riverbed. Even the main town of Monpura is in a vulnerable situation since the river is just about 300 yards far, he said.
Sabia Akhter Mim said they have lost their houses thrice. “We’re still vulnerable to the river erosion. Our education is interrupted,” she said.