Flashflood Forecast System Launched in Bangladesh

By From IFAD
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 2015 (IPS)

A flash flood forecast system launched in Dhaka last week is expected to help about three million farmers in Bangladesh.

The new project is designed to reduce the impact of climate change on rural women and men living in haor wetland communities.

The National Start-up Workshop for the Climate Adaptation and Livelihood Protection Project (CALIP) was attended by representatives of the Bangladesh Government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and international climate change experts.

More than 240,000 people are expected to benefit directly in the five haor districts of Netrakona, Habiganj, Brahmanbaria, Kishoreganj and Sunamganj, while approximately three million farmers will also benefit from agro-meteorological and flashflood forecast systems which will help them pro-actively plan and manage their crops, according a press release.

CALIP is a 15 million dollar supplementary project ‎of the Haor Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project (HILIP). The addition of funds from IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), brings the total cost of HILIP to 113 million dollars.

“CALIP introduces a number of climate change adaption measures for broadening livelihood opportunities,” said Monzur Hossain, Senior Secretary of the Local Government Division. “ It will test different village protection systems and will also support the development of a weather and flashflood forecasting system and institute a process for building pro-poor adaptation pathways, in partnership with leading national expert researchers and practitioners.”

The Dhaka workshop was jointly organized by LGED and IFAD, a United Nations Agency that invests in rural development.

“IFAD recognizes that smallholders in the haors require unique support for adaptation to new climatic challenges, and it is therefore programming innovative interventions that focus on building climate resilience at the household and community levels in the five haor districts. CALIP will thus promote approaches to help smallholders take a proactive stance towards dealing with flash floods, soil erosion, wave impacts and other climactic challenges, in order to avoid hard choices,” said Nicolas Syed.

Since 1978, IFAD has invested a total of 673.9 million dollars in 30 projects in Bangladesh benefitting nearly 10 million households.