Communities at the forefront of resilience building in Bangladesh
“As a follow-up to the Resilience Academy, we are grateful for the process of this project, where the active actors of the community especially the women, youth, and persons with disabilities are involved in every step of design, implementation, and sustainability,” said Shaikh Mahatab Ali Methu, Mayor of Faridpur.
The project is called “Building Resilience at Community Level”, organized and implemented by the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund (UCCRTF), Oxfam, and the municipalities of Faridpur and Patuakhali in Bangladesh. The Community Development Centre (CODEC) and Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) serve as local partners.
Together, the organizations started the project with a kick-off workshop for each municipality – 5 December for Faridpur and 7 December for Patuakhali. A diverse set of community stakeholders took part in the workshops, participating in identifying stakeholder group members and nominating a pilot ward for the project. The participants also familiarized themselves with the project objectives, outputs, and work plan. Representatives from all the nine wards had an opportunity to discuss their respective vulnerabilities and collectively voted for their pilot ward where the community-led project will be implemented.
Philipp is a communications and operations specialist at Oxfam. He is currently working with the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund on community-based resilience projects in 10 cities across five countries.
Participants in the kick-off workshop discussed the vulnerabilities of the different wards in the Faridpur municipality in order to choose the pilot area for the project (photo by Philipp Danao).
The workshop provided the participants an inclusive platform for in-depth discussions on the proposed project implementation approaches, strengthening stakeholder engagement, and ways to initiate project implementation.
As part of the kick-off, Oxfam and its local partners visited Ward 9 in Faridpur and Ward 1 in Patuakhali – the chosen pilot communities – to have an overview of their current situation. During the field consultations, the communities identified the following major concerns: water-borne diseases, improper waste disposal, and how to increase livelihood opportunities.
For Dilara Khatun, district women affairs officer for the Municipality of Patuakhali: “I have participated in many project training and workshops, but this is the first time that I experienced such an inclusive process that [representatives] of all of the wards were able to discuss and vote where we think the project should be… I am excited with the project and its processes.”
Different stakeholders explained their concerns about the community with the UCCRTF team in Patuakhali (photo by Philipp Danao).
The Building Resilience at Community Level project is funded through UCCRTF administered by the Asian Development Bank. The project aims to support urban poor communities, especially vulnerable groups through an inclusive resilience planning process to enhance their well-being despite the impact of disasters and climate change shocks and stressors. The project covers 10 cities in five countries: Patuakhali and Faridpur in Bangladesh; Makassar in Indonesia; Yangon in Myanmar; Sialkot and Abbottabad in Pakistan; and Malay (Aklan), La Trinidad (Benguet), Del Carmen (Surigao del Norte) and Janiuay (Iloilo) in the Philippines.