Water resources must be protected from further degradation

Speakers at a participatory discussion have unequivocally called for taking an effective and urgent step to protect the existing water resources in the region particularly in its vast tract of Barind area from furthermore degradation.
They laid stress on proper management of the existing water resources to protect the drought-prone area from ecological degradation for the sake of safeguarding the ecological balance along with survival of all living beings.
The observation came at a symposium styled “Water and Sustainable Development: Local Perspective” held at the conference hall of Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Rajshahi today.Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and NGO Forum for Public Health jointly organized the programme to mark the World Water Day-2015. Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Jakir Hossain addressed the programme as chief guest while Superintending Engineer of Barind Multipurpose Development Authority Dr Abul Kashem and Executive Engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board Harun-Or-Rashid spoke as special guests with Khan Md Golam Rabbani, Executive Engineer of DPHE, in the chair.Regional Manager of NGO Forum for Public Health Rabiul Haque and its Programme Facilitator Sabit Jahan Shishir also spoke.During his keynote presentation, Akbarul Hassan Millat, Editor of Daily Sonar Desh, highlighted the importance of the major rivers and their tributaries in ensuring environmental balance and maintaining a sound biodiversity and aquatic vegetation.He said normal flow of the rivers had a vital role in recharging the groundwater table that was being destroyed gradually due to various reasons.In advent of dry season, he mentioned that most of the hand- driven tube-wells become inoperative every year posing a threat to the commoners’ livelihood in the region.Rabiul Haque referred to various forms of water pollution and contamination of water and noted that effective measures should be taken against water and environment pollution on an emergency basis.Due attention should be given on using surface water for irrigation purposes to lessen the pressure on ground water.Terming the unabated use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on agricultural lands and industrial solid wastes and clinical wastes as harmful for living beings, he called for compelling the organizations and persons concerned to follow the government’s policies in this regard.He underscored the need for creating awareness on water and sanitation among children through primary education and said steps should be taken to protect the existing water resources from pollution and other endangering condition.The guest speakers advocated for building an effective programme for coordination among the experts and the government and non-government organisation concerned so they can put in their best and concerted efforts to formulate a time befitting plan for proper water resource management. -BSS, Rajshahi