With vast low-lying deltas, Bangladesh is a country greatly at risk from climate change. The coastal towns in Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to climate change. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) country operations business plan for Bangladesh, 2011 2013 identifies the Coastal Towns Infrastructure Improvement Project. The timely implementation of capacity development technical assistance (TA) for assessing the impacts of climate change and identifying adaptation options is deemed essential in maximizing the development impacts of the planned project in the coastal towns. This view has been fully endorsed by the Government of Bangladesh.
The main outcome of the capacity development TA will be strengthened capacity in the Government of Bangladesh to develop climate-resilient urban water, drainage, and sanitation projects in coastal towns. Its result will be guidance for project preparatory TA for the Coastal Towns Infrastructure Improvement Project. The impact of the TA will be improved design of urban infrastructure projects in coastal towns.
The TA will strengthen capacity and raise awareness regarding climate change. Workshops and training programs will be carried out mainly for officials of central and local government departments and other agencies. Other key stakeholders, such as universities, research institutes, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector, will be invited to the workshops, where the objectives, progress, and outputs of the TA will be shared and discussions will prioritize various adaptation options. Recommendations based on TA experience will be provided for further capacity-building and public-awareness programs, as well as for scaling up and replicating interventions in other areas.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Bangladesh is made vulnerable to climate change by its geography, poverty, inadequate infrastructure, limited social development, lack of institutional capacity, and high dependency on natural resources. Though Bangladesh has made steady progress in social and economic development and poverty alleviation, the country as a whole, and in particular its poorer communities, could suffer early and badly from climate change, negating past achievements. Therefore, strengthening resilience to climate change in coastal towns is a high priority on the development and poverty reduction agenda in Bangladesh.
Coastal towns currently suffer recurring and worsening waterlogging problems. The situation can be further exacerbated by increased rainfall and sea level rise. Careful assessments need to be undertaken on the extent of the impacts, on the bases of which appropriate response mechanisms need to be developed.
The Government of Bangladesh prepared its Strategic Program for Climate Resilience with assistance from ADB, the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation. The program was approved by the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) steering committee. This involves $21 million in PPCR grant finance, $50 million in concessionary loans, and $215 million in ADB loans from the Asian Development Fund. The Coastal Towns Infrastructure Improvement Project has been selected as a component of the PPCR. Similarly ADB's country operations business plan for Bangladesh, 2011 2013 also identifies the Coastal Towns Infrastructure Improvement Project, for implementation in 2013. Considering that increased saline intrusion in coastal areas has already been reported in the National Adaptation Program of Action, and that rainfall intensity will likely increase, future investment projects on urban water supply, drainage, and sanitation need to be climate-proofed. Therefore, the TA will assess the impacts of climate change on urban water supply, sanitation, drainage systems, water availability, and salinity. The TA will recommend practical and effective options for the location of water-intake works, the appropriate design of drainage systems, urban wastewater discharge, and the location of sanitation infrastructure. Structural and other options will be identified in the TA and prioritized in a participatory manner. The output of the TA will be reflected in the design of this future project and other government interventions.