Background The Region

 

Background

We are at a phase where the waterways of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal are endangered and environmentalists and scientists are having a better understanding of just how fast climate change is taking its toll on the region. As the Himalayan glaciers are disappearing, if not the very existence normal flow of the ten major Asian river systems – the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, Yangtse, Yellow, and Tarim–are threatened. Extreme glacial melt, seismic activity and extreme weather events are already affecting the region’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and coasts. An alarming sign of devastation to strike us is already shown through many ways.

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On the other hand the people of these areas are highly dependent on forests and mountains for their livelihoods and this dependency is leading to its excessive use and abuse. Experience from our participatory exercises reveal that in the last two decades more than 60% of the river water sources have dried up and this has a huge impact on the large number of streams, waterfalls and local water sources. The overuse of forests and mountains by the people for their essential livelihood and bad development has created a system of improper management of water.

What is required is a proper alternative livelihood programme which will provide sustenance to the people of the area and also help in protecting the natural resources which in turn will prevent over 350 million people being affected with a situation of “ no water” in the area.

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The Region

Sixty-four rivers of various sizes flow through India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar towards Bangladesh. The interventions of the organization will intervene in most of the river sources in these areas viz. Eastern part of Nepal, Bhutan, North East India including State of Sikkim, North Bengal, western part of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh itself has no river source. Bangladesh is inhabited by about 126 million people in an area of about 147,000 square kilometres and is located within the flood plains of three great rivers, the Ganges, the 

Brahmaputra and the combination of rivers as Meghna. About 93% of the catchments of the country’s river system lie outside in the upper region of Bangladesh, but drain the system over it’s flood plains to the Bay of Bengal. Because of this unique geographic location, the country receives excess inflows in the monsoon months (July – September) causing recurrent floods and suffers due to shortage of water in the dry season (December – April).

While there are policies to support the protection of the rivers, lack of inter and intra communication, coordination, lack of basic developmental education of the stakeholders and functionaries makes these ineffective. Rapid and unplanned development is also leading to disaster, climate change, global warming, restless situation in local-regional-national and international level, adverse demographic impacts and unsustainable use of resources and all this needs to connected to the depleting river sources

To save the sources of river water I plan to work on diverse and multiple levels. This program have to do in different angles like more critical understanding of the issues, sustainable management mechanism, to grow up the huge leadership to address the cuscuses with different aspects. The community mobilization, stakeholder involvement, resources linkage, networking, capacity building in all the activities, work collaboration and partnering etc. will be allied activities.

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