Reducing Environmental & Economic Risk: Providing
Infrastructure & Environmental Protection
The Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP) provides essential infrastructure to extreme poor island char dwellers. The second and current phase of the CLP (CLP-2) continues work done by CLP-1 in providing households with a safe place to live during floods by raising them on plinths, a clean water supply with improved access to protected tube wells and sanitary latrines for improved hygiene. Improving basic sanitation and water facilities is a key element of the CLP’s holistic package, and is complemented by social development work which provides education on topics such as the importance of hygiene practices and disaster preparedness.
Infrastructure & Environment during CLP-1
Between 2004 and 2010, the first phase of the CLP (CLP-1) raised over 90,600 households on plinths, installed over 62,000 sanitary latrines, and improved or built more than 4,500 tube wells.
Infrastructure & Environment during CLP-2
CLP-2 aims to raise a further 85,000 households on plinths by 2016, as well as providing 88,000 households with access to a safe
water source, 88,000 households with improved sanitation in the form of latrines, and will continue to explore energy efficiency options such as fuel efficient stoves. The CLP is piloting innovations in cost sharing with participants, to ensure sustainability and improved cost effectiveness. The working area has also been expanded to include new districts, ensuring that as many people as possible can benefit from CLP interventions.
Raising Homestead Plinths
Flooding of the low-lying chars is a near annual occurrence in Bangladesh, usually starting with the monsoon rains in late June. Floodwater forces people to either migrate or live on the roof of their submerged house. To mitigate this, the CLP raises participant homesteads approximately 60 cm above the highest known flood level (see diagram). This means that even during the flood season, households will have a safe place for their cattle, can continue horticultural activities on their homestead but most importantly, can continue to live in their own homes. In the severe floods of 2007, participant homestead plinths became refuges for other community members outside of the CLP activities.
Ensuring Access to Safe Drinking Water
In addition to raising plinths, the CLP assists households with access to a safe shallow tube well. The CLP meets part of the cost by installing a concrete platform (to prevent groundwater contamination)provided that the tube well is on raised ground, is at least 40 feet deep, is accessible to at least three households, and has an arsenic level of within 50 ppb. The household where the tube well is situated contributes Tk 1,000 (about £10), and receives ownership of the well with the understanding that access for other households will be permitted. This creates household responsibility for the well, ensuring that it continues to be maintained.
Providing Access to Sanitation Facilities
CLP-2 is piloting a cost sharing innovation for delivery of low-cost latrines that will improve value for money. Participants are responsible for some of the inputs (e.g. digging the pit, installing superstructure and providing concrete rings/bamboo cage) in return for a subsidy from CLP to construct a concrete slab fitted with plastic pan and water seal. Households do not have to be CLP core participants to be eligible for the subsidy. This work is being complemented by the Open Defecation Free campaign, which aims to eliminate open defecation in char communities through education and promotion of low-cost latrines.
Climate Mitigation Activities
CLP-2 is also piloting the use of improved fuel efficient stoves, to reduce demand and associated environmental costs related to fuel (particularly wood fuel). The improved stoves can lower fuel requirements by 50%, as well as contributing to reduced respiratory infections related to smoke inhalation.
Click for pdf
See also: Offering Social Protection