Adverse impact of climate change has been triggering natural disasters including drought and flood posing a serious threat to the overall public health especially relating to water and sanitation in the region including the vast Barind tract.
To face the natural catastrophe, substantial and sustainable promotion of water and sanitation related modern technologies have become indispensable as the vulnerable water and sanitation situation is closely associated with the climate change.
Professor Dr Asaduzzaman from Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences in Rajshahi College revealed this while presenting his keynote in a seminar.
District Disaster Management Committee and Department of Disaster
Management jointly organized the seminar titled “Drought and Flood” held at the conference hall of Deputy Commissioner in Rajshahi on Thursday.
With Deputy Commissioner Kazi Ashraf Uddin in the chair, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Education and ICT) Parvej Raihan, District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Md Alauddin, Upazila Chairmen Abu Sayeed Chand and Abdus Salam, President of Rajshahi Press Club Anwarul Alam and NGO leader Sarwar-E-Kamal spoke on the occasion.
Keynote presenter Dr Asaduzzaman told the meeting that the common
consequences of drought such as dust storms due to desertification, eroding landscapes, less crop growth due to lack of water for irrigation, malnutrition, dehydration, habitat damage now being observed in the dried region.
He said over 13,000 Deep tube-wells are extracting groundwater every day for maintaining the farming system especially the irrigation-dependent paddy for boosting its outputs to feed the gradually increasing population.
The whole water and sanitation is facing serious threat in the drought-prone region due to multifarious adverse reasons including arsenic intrusion, lack of underground recharging, rising of char lands as a result of erosion and accretion leading to water scarcity and quality problems.
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.
The drought-prone condition has directly been negatively impacting the water, sanitation, overall public health and sustainable livelihood in the region.
He said the climate change is being adjudged as the depletion of natural resources and as a major threat to the humanity in the region and urged the policy planners and others concerned to take immediate effective measures to address the adverse impacts.
Quoting various research findings on the issue, he said the dried area has been seeing drought conditions with gradual increase of extreme weather conditions, sharp declining in groundwater table and decreasing rate of rainfall.
He put emphasis on groundwater recharging through enriching the surface water resources through necessary excavation and re-excavation of the derelict ponds and canals and treatment of the water on an emergency basis.
To overcome the prevailing odd situation, Dr Zaman favored for feasible water and sanitation technologies and large-scale uses of surface water including the rainwater in the area.