Bangladesh : Climate-Resilient Livelihood Improvement and Watershed Management in Chittagong Hill Tracts Sector Project
The proposed project will improve climate resilient livelihoods and access to basic services for rural communities living in the three hill districts of Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati of the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region, a remote and relatively under-developed region of Bangladesh. The project will adopt a holistic approach of addressing deficiencies in financial, human, physical, natural, and social capital that are needed to support sustainable and resilient community development. Specifically, the project will (i) develop small-scale community infrastructure; (ii) improve watershed protection and management; (iii) improve agricultural production, processing, and marketing; (iv) improve non-farm skills amongst rural youth and strengthen capacity of CHT institutions; and (v) improve rural road connectivity.
Request for information
19 July 2023
- Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
|Project Name||Climate-Resilient Livelihood Improvement and Watershed Management in Chittagong Hill Tracts Sector Project|
|Country / Economy||Bangladesh
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Operational Priorities||OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
OP5: Promoting rural development and food security
OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
|Sector / Subsector||
Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural production - Forestry - Rural market infrastructure - Rural sanitation
|Gender||Gender equity theme|
The proposed project will improve climate resilient livelihoods and access to basic services for rural communities living in the three hill districts of Bandarban, Khagrachari and Rangamati of the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) region, a remote and relatively under-developed region of Bangladesh. The project will adopt a holistic approach of addressing deficiencies in financial, human, physical, natural, and social capital that are needed to support sustainable and resilient community development. Specifically, the project will (i) develop small-scale community infrastructure; (ii) improve watershed protection and management; (iii) improve agricultural production, processing, and marketing; (iv) improve non-farm skills amongst rural youth and strengthen capacity of CHT institutions; and (v) improve rural road connectivity. The project will explicitly support climate resilient outcomes and build long-term resilience of the institutional systems that it supports, in one of the most socially disadvantaged and highly vulnerable regions of Bangladesh.
The project is aligned with the government's 8FYP, which aims to reduce poverty in lagging regions through investments in rural roads, rural water supply and sanitation, irrigation and agriculture, rural enterprise development, community forest management, promoting sustainable development, and minimizing climate related challenges. The project also supports the strengthening of CHT institutions, empowerment of women, inclusion of ethnic communities in development, and partnerships with civil society organizations. The project compliments the programs of several other development partners engaged in the CHT. The project is also aligned with the objectives of: (i) the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100; and (ii) the Nationally Determined Contributions 2021 of Bangladesh. Within ADB, the project aligns with: (i) several operational priorities of ADB's Strategy 2030; and (ii) the Country Partnership Strategy for Bangladesh 2021-2025, specifically, strategic objective 2: promote green growth and climate resilience; and strategic objective 3: strengthening human capital and social protection.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The CHT is predominantly an agrarian economy with 64% of its population engaged in agriculture, compared with the national average of 52% for rural areas. Farming is also the predominant livelihood activity of women, with more than 52% of female household heads reporting agriculture or agriculture labor as their main source of livelihood. The region's poor accessibility to markets, high levels of uncertainty due to climate variability, high post-harvest losses, limited crop diversification, low value addition, and low land productivity underscore the main challenges of supporting sustainable livelihoods of rural communities.
The non-farm rural economy in CHT remains underdeveloped with limited employment opportunities in the industry and service sectors. Low levels of education and skills limit employment and livelihood opportunities in the non-farm sector. The average literacy rate across the three districts of the CHT is 44% compared with the national rate of 72%. Less than 1% of the CHT population have received any technical or vocational training. As a result, the CHT has attracted limited interest from commercially oriented entrepreneurs and investors.
The CHT districts fare much worse in comparison to the rest of the country in terms of access to basic services. Access to safe water is the main challenge facing rural communities and poor sanitary practices compound the problem of poor drinking water quality. In the Bandarban district, for example, 74% of respondents to a household survey reported a river, canal, or pond/lake as the source of drinking water. Only 11% of households used a water-sealed sanitary latrine and 20% of households still had to resort to open defecation. Lack of access to water and sanitation leads to a greater burden of work for women, increased water-borne diseases, and lost opportunities for women and girls to participate in other productive activities.
Access to paved roads is very limited with 74% of the planned rural road network of the CHT being unpaved. Poor road conditions increase transportation time and costs, which in turn affects the disaster preparedness and viability of sustainable livelihood options. Access to electricity in the CHT on the other hand, has increased significantly due to the availability of off-grid solar power.
Enhanced human health and well-being, reduced vulnerability, and improved food security of the CHT people
|Description of Outcome||
Sustainable livelihood opportunities and access to basic services for the rural population in the CHT including women and vulnerable groups enhanced
|Progress Toward Outcome|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Rural roads rehabilitated
Community infrastructure developed
Watershed management strengthened
Agriculture production, processing, and marketing improved
Rural non-farm skills related to agriculture value chains improved
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)|
|Geographical Location||Bandarban, Khagrachari, Rangamati|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||In compliance with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) as applicable to sector projects, an environmental assessment and review framework (EARF) was prepared during project design. The EARF provides guidance on environmental due diligence of subprojects to be adopted during implementation, including screening and categorization (i.e. subproject that triggers category A for environment will not be considered), environmental assessment and mitigation, consultations, grievance redress, institutional arrangements, and monitoring and reporting requirements. These procedures were applied to three sample subprojects from outputs 1, 2 and 5, to establish good practice procedures. Affected persons and stakeholders were consulted during subproject preparations to ensure that their views were incorporated and required trainings and other support was identified. Based on these assessments, the environmental impacts are largely considered to be site-specific and associated with disturbance due to earthworks, temporary health and safety risks to workers and nearby communities, and a moderate decline of air quality from civil works. Most interventions (e.g. watershed protection, bioengineering interventions and good agriculture practices) are expected to have positive environmental impacts.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The project is category A for involuntary resettlement (IR) safeguards since the improvement of rural roads (output 5) will involve some land acquisition. A resettlement framework (RF) was prepared during project design to guide the preparation of resettlement plans (RP) of individual rural road subprojects, and one RP was prepared for a sample subproject. The RF also establishes the guideline for voluntary land donation. Based on detailed measurement survey of 10 selected subprojects, it was estimated that around 900 affected persons will experience IR impacts that are limited to acquisition of small strips of roadside land or the removal of trees, crops or some secondary structures. While activities under outputs 1 and 2 are not expected to involve involuntary resettlement, they have footprints on private and customary land. Since these interventions are included based on demands expressed by communities through a participatory process, such lands will be accessed through voluntary arrangements.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The project is category A for Indigenous Peoples safeguards; about 41% of population of the project area belong to SEC and they will benefit specifically from the project interventions. A Small Ethnic Communities Planning Framework (SECPF) was prepared for the overall project, and one Small Ethnic Communities Plan (SECP) was prepared for a sample subproject, as part of the SEC due diligence. The SECPs describe the principles and methodology to ensure that SEC (i) receive culturally appropriate social and economic benefits, (ii) do not suffer adverse impacts because of project interventions, and (iii) can actively participate in the subprojects and interventions. The project triggers the need for broad community support (BCS), for which the process is described in the SECPF and sample SECP. A BCS certificate will be obtained from the community before any subproject is implemented.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||The project will ensure participation of community men and women, including the poor and disadvantaged groups. The project will strengthen participation through (i) inclusion of the poor and women as members of different committees; (ii) developing demand driven subproject selection by separate consultation with men and women groups consisting of various economic groups; and (iii) inclusion of community people as skilled and unskilled labors in the infrastructure related works. All relevant stakeholders, including the Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council, the three Hill District Councils, circle chiefs, the Local Government Engineering Department, traditional village leaders (karbaris and headmen), district and Union Council chairpersons and members, and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) working in the project location will be consulted. Stakeholders will be involved in the design of the community infrastructure and basic services.|
|During Project Implementation||Main stakeholders include general citizens, poor and vulnerable communities, and excluded groups (women, elderly, persons with disabilities) in areas where the proposed infrastructure and interventions will be developed. Government, community groups, and civil society organizations working in the project location will be fully consulted. Stakeholders will be involved in the needs assessment and the design of the community infrastructure. Community members will select the subprojects; women will be consulted in selecting the locations of water supply interventions; and the village people will be involved in the construction, operation and maintenance of the interventions. Poor, socially excluded groups, and women-headed households will be especially targeted for appropriate work opportunities in the construction and operation and maintenance of different infrastructure subprojects. Such groups will also be provided with suitable capacity building support. An NGO may be recruited to undertake the socioeconomic baseline survey baseline assessment, and NGOs may be recruited for social mobilization.|
|Consulting Services||To be procured following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.|
|Procurement||To be procured following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Ranawana, Sanath|
|Responsible ADB Department||Sectors Group|
|Responsible ADB Division||Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development Sector Office (SG-AFNR)|
Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bangladesh
|Concept Clearance||06 Aug 2020|
|Fact Finding||02 Jun 2022 to 16 Jun 2022|
|MRM||25 Nov 2022|
|Approval||19 Jul 2023|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||02 Aug 2023|
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Climate-Resilient Livelihood Improvement and Watershed Management in Chittagong Hill Tracts Sector Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||Jun 2023|