Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the world’s biggest rehabilitation project for the climate refugees in Cox’s Bazar.
While opening the project, Prime Minister Hasina said to the dwellers, largely comprising the fishermen community, “I love to eat ‘shutki’ (dry fish) and will come to enjoy it with you all.”
The prime minister reiterated her steadfast commitment to ensure housing for all, including the people hit by flood and river erosion.
“We’re celebrating the ‘Mujib Barsho’, marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Our aim in his birth centenary is that not a single person will remain homeless. We’ll construct a house, even a ‘chala’ (shed), for every person. That is our goal,” Hasina said.
The prime minister on Thursday opened special structures built under the Khurushkul Ashrayan Project in Cox’s Bazar for 600 climate refugees.
At the inauguration function, some of the beneficiaries were handed over the keys to the 456sq ft flats.
The beneficiaries were mostly the fishermen’s family members, the victims of the devastating cyclone of 1991 which forced them to take refuge at the crammed shanties in the Cox’s Bazar airport area.
Each family will get a 456.07sq ft flat in exchange of 1,001 taka. All the buildings are equipped with ramp system for people with disabilities, solar panels, safe drinking water facility, electricity, sanitation, waste management, drainage and gas connection.
The ground floor of the new buildings has been kept vacant so that floodwater and tidal surge can damage nothing. The accommodations also include tube-wells and
rainwater harvesting system.
A total of 4,409 climate refugee families will be rehabilitated at the site in 139 five-storied buildings under the Khurushkul Ashrayan scheme being implemented by the Bangladesh Army on 253.59 acres of land at a cost of 1,800 crore taka as part of the Ashrayan Project-2.
Since the Ashrayan Project was launched in 1997, the Khurushkul scheme has emerged as the country’s largest rehabilitation project.
The Khurushkul project will have 4 zones – residential, tourism, dry fish processing zone or ‘shutki mahal’ and a buffer precinct with greenery.
Referring to the ongoing flood situation in the country, Hasina said, “We know that the menace of flood is being seen a little bit more (this season). This is the Bengali month of ‘Shraban’ and more water will come in ‘Bhadra’, meaning that the country may witness more flooding in August-September.”
The prime minister said that her government has allocated money separately in the budget for constructing houses for the homeless people so that no single person remains homeless.
“We’re working in this way and I would like to tell the people of entire Bangladesh that not a single person will stay homeless,” she said.
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