More than half the population of Bangladesh’s coastal areas live below the poverty line. Improving food production and establishing business opportunities depends on creating effective protection against floods and building irrigation and drainage systems inside the polders (tracts of low lying land enclosed and protected by embankments or dykes).
The Blue Gold programme will cover 25 polders with a combined area of 160,000ha and will establish and empower rural community co-operatives to sustainably manage their defence, drainage and irrigation infrastructure.
“The project builds on lessons learned from previous programmes, including the Integrated Planning for Sustainable Water Management programme (IPSWAM) that we have been involved in since 2007,” said Hero Heering, Mott MacDonald’s project director. “It takes into account new insights in how to deal with challenges created by the dynamic rivers of Bangladesh. IPSWAM has improved agricultural yields by up to 50%.”
Blue Gold will be operational this year and extend over a six-year period. The project is being funded by the Dutch government as part of the Netherlands Development Cooperation.
Image – The project will help 150,000 households in coastal areas.