Research by DRI co-founders in peri-urban areas of the Bengal Delta

With about 163 million population and  147,570 square kilometer  country boundary, the Bengal Delta is the world’s 8th most populous delta. Therefore, sustainable agricultural development is a priority agenda for the food and livelihood security of delta people. Due to the evident climate variability, the peri-urban farming communities are highly susceptible to hydroclimatic extreme events. The recurrent hydroclimatic extreme events are acute salinity intrusion, cyclonic storm surge, coastal flooding, and waterlogging which are expected to worsen due to climate change-induced sea-level rise. To address vital climate issues, DRI Co-founder Mr. Uthpal Kumar and Mr. Kamonashish Haldar were involved in wastewater reuse and climate services research issues in Khulna. Mr. Kumar and Mr. Halder have published the following scientific articles based on their Ph.D. research projects at Wageningen University. Hope these scientific contributions will scientists, managers, and policymakers for managing urban wastewater and co-developing climate services to ensure climate-smart agricultural production in the Bengal delta. These projects received funding from Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education (NUFFIC). Here are some of the scientific outputs from the project:

  • Haldar, K. Kujawa-Roeleveld, K. Schoenmakers, M. Datta, D. Rijnaarts, HHM. Vos, J (2021) Institutional challenges and stakeholder perception towards planned water reuse in peri-urban agriculture of the Bengal delta. Journal of Environmental Management, 283 (111974). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.111974 
  • Kumar, U., Werners, S., Paparrizos, S., Datta, D. K., & Ludwig, F. (2020). Hydroclimatic information needs of smallholder farmers in the lower Bengal delta, Bangladesh. Atmosphere11(9), [1009]. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11091009 
  • Kumar, U., Werners, S., Roy, S., Ashraf, S., Hoang, L. P., Datta, D. K., & Ludwig, F. (2020). Role of information in farmers’ response to weather and water related stresses in the lower Bengal Delta, Bangladesh. Sustainability (Switzerland)12(16), [6598]. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166598
  • Haldar, K., Kujawa-Roeleveld, K., Dey, P., Bosu, S., Datta, D. K., & Rijnaarts, H. H. M. (2020). Spatio-temporal variations in chemical-physical water quality parameters influencing water reuse for irrigated agriculture in tropical urbanized deltas. Science of the Total Environment708, [134559]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134559

Project evaluation of RACE completed

Recently we finished a project evaluation project commissioned by Caritas Development Institute. The project titled “Rightful Action through adibashi and ultra poor Community Effort (RACE)” aims to improve the quality of life of adibashi and ultra poor community who are often victims of socio-economic disadvantages and institutional negligence. The project is implemented by Samakal Samaj Unnayan Sangstha (SSUS). The project is implemented in 02 upazilas under Rangpur district. The evaluation aimed to assess the impacts (both positive and negative) by the project for fundamental rights and livelihood improvements of the ultra-poor communities and identify the economic viability of the project. The evaluation also provided with necessary adjustments in the project activities for achieving targeted output, outcomes and impacts at the community level.

Participation in 4th ICSD

Our Co-founder, Uthpal Kumar, recently participated and presented at 4th International Conference on Sustainable Development (18-19 February, 2020) held at Dhaka. In his presentation titled ” Climate Service for Sustainable Agricultural Practices in the Lower Ganges Delta Bangladesh”, Mr. Uthpal focussed on how access to climatic information is improving the life of farmers living in the lower ganged delta of Bangladesh. This research is part of NWO funded WaterApps projects implemented by Wageningen University in collaboration with Khulna University, BCAS.

Water use optimization in delta areas

Natural resources are becoming scarce in the delta areas and climate change is threatening the access and availability of available resources. Water is an important natural resources for sustaining life in the delta areas. Sea level rise, pollution, lack of proper management is reducing the water availability for drinking as well as for other activities especially for agriculture. Food production requires a good quantity and quality of water. In recent years, increased pollution of surface water bodies have reduced available irrigation sources for farmers. Wastewater is regularly dumped into the surface water bodies without any treatment. Wastewater can also be reuse in agriculture is proper quality can be maintained before discharge. Around the world, urban water reuse is gaining popularity and it has been shown that water reuse can not only increase the available irrigation sources but also ensures the optimum utilization of water. It is high time to think about urban water reuse for delta areas as in future availability of water sources is going to be limited due to natural as well as anthropocentric causes.