The International Farakka Committee (IFC), an international environmental organization working as water rights advocacy group, urged all patriotic political parties and organisations in Bangladesh to have the issue of sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers as the main issue of life and death of people in their political and election manifestoes. Leaders of political parties in Bangladesh are now spelling out their party-positions on different issues in view of the upcoming general elections.
In a statement on Tuesday, the IFC said the political parties and their leaders in Bangladesh can strengthen their appeals to the people by inserting in their political manifestoes on a priority basis the question of sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers to safeguard environment and life.
The common rivers are central to the environment and ecology in Bangladesh. They involve the question of life and death of the people. Political parties that do not include in their political manifestoes the question of sustainable management of common rivers are bound to be detached from the people, the IFC statement said.
A creation of rivers, Bangladesh cannot sustain without the common rivers. We are for the internationally accepted sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers. The common rivers in Bangladesh are dying due to their unsustainable management at upstream in India. And manmade environmental disasters are becoming increasingly visible in the country.
We want an end to such unsustainable management of common rivers so that these natural systems can be kept alive through sustainable and basin-wide management and all peoples in their basins benefit from their services keeping the environment, ecosystems and life unaffected, it says.
Political leaders of the “neighbouring country” – meaning India - want Bangladeshs cooperation in dealing with China to ensure sustainable basin-wide management of the Brahmaputra River. But they (Indian political leaders) fail to grasp the question of life death of the people involved in the management of the common rivers at upstream in India.
The common rivers including the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Teesta and their distributaries in Bangladesh are turning dead during the dry season and causing disastrous floods in the wet season.
Those who have put their signatures to the above statement are IFC New York chairman, Atiqur Rahman Salu, senior vice-chairman, Awlad Hossain Khan, secretary-general, Sayed Tipu Sultan; IFC Bangladesh president, Prof Jasim Uddin Ahmad, senior vice-president, Dr S.I. Khan, general secretary, Syed Irfanul Bari and IFC coordinator, Mostafa Kamal Majumder.