GOPALGANJ: Local Government Division (LGD) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have initiated a climate-resilient housing project for 336 urban low-income families in the district.
Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP, formally inaugurated the scheme at a ceremony on Tuesday by laying its foundation stone.
It will offer facilities including agricultural land, playground, courtyard, pond, kitchen market, walkway, rainwater harvesting, fire safety, efficient solar energy sources and power substation.
“The government has been working tirelessly to ensure improved lives for a cross-section of people. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a target in Mujib Borsho that not a single person will remain without address or home. We are working to ensure an address for everyone so that no one is left behind,” Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP said while inaugurating the scheme.
Chaired by Kazi Liaquat Ali, Mayor, Gopalganj Paurashava, Dipak Chakraborty, Additional Secretary, LGD, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, John Warburton, Team Leader and Senior Climate Change Adviser of FCDO in Bangladesh, Ashekur Rahman, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, Md Abdul Mannan, former National Project Director, LIUPC project, Md Iqbal Hossain, Additional District Magistrate, Gopalganj, Mahbub Ali Khan, social worker and founder of Jugoshikha Girls High School also addressed.
The housing condition for the urban poor communities in Bangladesh is highly challenging and is mostly unsanitary, poorly serviced and densely populated. They are also often located in environmentally hazardous areas, which play a devastating role in the lives of the urban poor routinely, with a greater prevalence of ill health and exposure to climate vulnerabilities.
Despite having a rich historical background and political prominence, Gopalganj Municipality lacks basic facilities ordinarily present at a first-class municipality, such as well-planned housing for the dwellers, systematic drainage networks, roads, sanitary system, and recreational facilities.
“This housing will offer more than just a shelter. It will facilitate not only long-term tenure security but also provide them with a sustainable and improved living standard which considers climatic resilience,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.
“The design of the housing has incorporated tropical and climate resilient architecture, economy, environment, local context, and sustainability as well as aspects making it friendly for children, people with special needs and elderly people,” said Dipak Chakraborty, Additional Secretary, LGD.
Kazi Liaquat Ali, Mayor, Gopalganj Paurashava, said that participation from the Community and Paurashava ensured inclusiveness during each design phase.
This newly formed diverse community will lead and run the housing complex by themselves following the establishment of a community organization, which will decide on a monthly fee to manage operation and maintenance work and expenditures. Homeowners will bear the cost of utility services.
The tenure security of the selected beneficiaries will be for 99 years, and the ownership will be in a joint modality between the household head and his/her spouse. However, the home is not rentable, saleable and transferable.
The beneficiary of these housing units will be identified through a rigorous selection process following approved guidelines that consider the household income, the number of dependents, length of stay, climate distressed/displaced population, landlessness, homelessness, and disability.