Speakers at a seminar here said that adverse impact of climate change has been posing a serious threat to the agriculture and overall public health especially relating to water and sanitation in Barind tract.
The observations came at a daylong international seminar titled “Climate, Groundwater and Agriculture Production: Barind Area, NW Bangladesh” held at Dean’s Complex in Rajshahi University Wednesday. University College, London (UCL) organised the seminar in association with Rajshahi University (RU).
Vice-chancellor of RU Prof Md Mijanuddin and Chairman of Barind
Multipurpose Development Authority Dr Akram Hossain Chowdhury addressed the inaugural session as chief and special guests respectively with Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, Pro-VC of RU, in the chair.
Prof Kazi Matin Ahmed from Dhaka University and Prof William G Burges from UCL also addressed the session.
In his keynote presentation, Prof Dr Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, said the
symptoms of desertification such as dust storms, eroding landscapes, less crop growth, lack of water, malnutrition, dehydration, habitat damage now being observed in the region.
He said over 14,000 deep tube-wells are extracting groundwater every day for maintaining irrigation.
Dr Chowdhury added that water and sanitation management facing serious threats, adverse effects including arsenic intrusion, lack of underground recharging and water scarcity.
He emphasized the need for finding out effective strategies to cope with the existing and new challenges regarding water and sanitation in drought situation in the region particularly Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.
He stated that the drought-prone condition has directly been negatively impacting the water, sanitation, overall public health and sustainable livelihood in the region.
Prof Kazi Matin said drought conditions with gradual increase of extreme weather conditions, sharp declining in groundwater table and decreasing rate of rainfall affecting overall situation in this region, reports BSS from Rajshahi.