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ADB approves $71m loan to improve flood control in Gopalganj, Madaripur

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $71 million loan to improve flood control, irrigation, and water resources management in rural communities in Gopalganj and Madaripur districts in Bangladesh to strengthen their preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change.

According to an ADB release, The project is expected to benefit more than 600,000 people and will introduce climate-resilient flood control, drainage, and irrigation (FCDI) measures and reduce saline intrusion, reports UNB.

It will adopt nature-based solutions to strengthen FCDI infrastructure and improve drainage in four sub-basins.

The project will develop and enhance integrated water management plans, construct training centers for water management organisations, and other community infrastructure.

The project will promote participatory water resource management to foster local ownership and ensure sustainability.

It will strengthen the capacity of water management groups in the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the facilities and support the establishment of joint management committees.

Support will be extended to form water management organisations in four subproject areas targeting women’s membership.

The project will also build the capacity of the Bangladesh Water Development Board to improve coordination of government agencies concerned with water resources management, supervise the activities of water management organizations, and integrate climate adaptation in its operations.

Based on the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh is ranked seventh in terms of vulnerability to climate risk. Bangladesh faces increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather and slow-onset climate events.

Without effective adaptation measures, the country could lose about 30 percent of agricultural gross domestic product by 2050 because of climate variability and extreme events impacting rural communities, especially women, who depend on climate-sensitive agricultural practices and natural resources for their livelihoods.

ADB Senior Project Management Specialist Pushkar Srivastava said that the project will sustain the gains achieved under the ADB-financed Southwest Area Integrated Water Resources Planning and Management Project, which has improved agricultural production, improved community infrastructure, and increased rural households’ incomes.

“This ADB additional support will further boost economic growth and productivity, increase incomes and sustainable livelihoods, especially for women and vulnerable groups, and reduce poverty in rural areas of southwest Bangladesh,” Srivastava said.