Sunday, January 17, 2010

Campaign for Repairing and Reconstruction of Embankments

After 7 and half months of Aila (hit on 25th May 2009) the people in
Dacope and Koyra of Khulna District and Shyamnagar of Satkhira
Districts are still under water. To sensitize the government and raise
voice of the people submerged under saline water, Humanitywatch has
taken a campaign program in Khulna with demand of Repairing and
Reconstruction of Embankments. The campaign is implementing with
financial and technical support from Oxfam under Campaign for
Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL).
Today (12 January 2010) a sharing meeting with the political parties
and civil society representatives held in Umesh Chandra Public Library
to build a common platform and plan of action on repairing and
reconstruction of damaged embankments of Khulna and Satkhira
Districts. The meeting has been chaired by renowned political leader
and environmental activist Advocate Feroz Ahmed. Major political party
leaders and civil society representatives were present in the meeting.
A civil society forum namely "Solidarity Committee for Aila Affected
People" has been formed in the meeting. Political leader and
environmental activist Advocate Feroz Ahmed has selected Convener of
the committee where Hasan Mehedi has selected Member Secretary of the
The committee has decided to organize three programmes observing
upcoming Meeting of Minister with Parliamentary Standing Committee,
Local Member of Parliaments, Secretary of Ministry of Environment and
Forest and other high officials in Khulna on 15-16 January 2010. The
Programmes are:
14 January 2010: Press Conference at 12:00 PM to declare the ultimatum
of repair reconstruction: Khulna Press Club
15 January 2010: Sit-In programme at 11:00 AM to sensitize the policy
leaders on the issue: Picture Palace Moor, Khulna
15 January 2010: Submission of Memorandum at 1:00 PM to the Minister,
Parliamentary Standing Committee Members and Member of Parliaments of
Khulna District: Khulna Circuit House, Khulna
The meeting also decided that a "Aila Solidarity Stage" will be
organized for 5-7 days at Shaheed Hadis Park after 7-day ultimatum of
reconstructing the embankments.
The students of Govt. BL University College and Govt. Azam Khan
University College from the Aila affected areas of Khulna and Satkhira
united themselves under the umbrella of Solidarity Committee for Aila
Affected People with demand of repairing and reconstruction of damaged
embankments. Today, 12 January 2010 they formed these committees in
different meeting held in respective colleges. More than 120 students
of the colleges participated in the meetings and shared the sufferings
of their families who are still living in the affected areas. Tayeb
Hossain of Zoology department, Zillur Rahman and Yunus Ali and Mamunur
Rashid Tito of History department, Mohiuddin Ahmed of Sociology
department, Saiful Islam Mintu and Abdur Rashid of Political Science
department and Abul Kalam of Bangla department addressed the students
among others. Tarik-Uz-Zaman and Hasan Mehedi of Humanitywatch was
present in the meeting.
The meetings decided to attend in the Press Conference on 14 January
2010 at 12:00 PM. Some representatives of the meeting decided to
coordinate with the slum dwellers to activate for the programmes of
Solidarity Committee. These around 20 thousand people are now living
in Khulna City from Dacope, Koyra and Shyamnagar after becoming
refugee due to damage of embankments.
After the meeting the students displayed a Banner with call to attend
the campaign for Repairing and Reconstruction of embankments for the
people's life and livelihood.
The student activists for Embankment Reconstruction visited Rayermahal
Slum of Khulna City today (12 January 2010) and organized a
mobilization meeting with the slum dwellers who had displaced from the
Aila affected areas of Koyra and Dacope Upazila and working in Khulna
City as rickshaw puller or daily labour. Around 156 families live in
this slum along with other 34 slums of Khulna City. At least 15,000
people are living in the slums of Khulna City since June 2009, very
after the hit of Aila. Humanitywatch volunteer Mamunur Rashid Tito and
Tarikuzzaman, Student activist Zillur Rahman, Tayeb Hossain and Saiful
Islam Mintu discussed the situation with the uprooted peoples. 65 slam
dwellers attended in the mobilization meeting. The slum dwellers
expressed their commitment to participate in the Campaign programme to
be organized by Solidarity Committee.