Dialogue on “Empowering NRCC to comply with court order to protect river pollution”

WKB consortium organized its second Dialogue with CSOs and relevant government authorities on 20 April 2022 at Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity in Segun Bagicha. With the objective to raise voice and advocate for strengthening National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) Waterkeepers Bangladesh Consortium organized this dialogue with the title ““Empowering NRCC to comply with court order to protect river pollution”.

A total of 64 participants (55 men, 9 women) attended the program. The dialogue program was presided and moderated by Sharif Jamil, Coordinator, Waterkeepers Bangladesh whereas; Dr. Mujibur Rahman Howlader, Former Chairman, National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) attended the program as the Chief Guest. Mr. Mainuddin Ahmed, Chief of Party, Promoting Advocacy and Rights (PAR), Counterpart International was present as the special guest. Participants of the dialogue emphasized on the formation of effective river commission for the protection of rivers in the country, they called for enacting of NRCC law following court’s directives as well as its proper implementation to protect rivers.

The keynote paper for the dialogue was presented by Mohammad Golam Sarwar, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dhaka. Analyzing the legislative landscape, he informed that NRCC was formed in 2013 according to 2009 High Court’s order. However, an act had been drafted in 2020 which has not been enacted. He pointed that the court has given much importance to the lack of coordination to protect the rivers, therefore he said government departments involved in river protection need to be sincere. Mohammad Azaz, Chairman, River and Delta Research Centre; Md. Fariduddin Sohel, Bangladesh River Foundation; Sumon Shams, Nongor, Bangladesh; Mr. Ms. Siddiqui, BAPA; Mr. Monir Hossain Chowdhury, NRCC; Mr. Sajidur Rahman Sarder, NRCC; Mr. Syed Md. Motlubur Rahman, 48 River Survey Project, NRCC; Mr. Md. Alamgir Hossain, Dhaka WASA; Ms. Jannati Akhter Ruma, UP Member, Trimohini; Mr. Jahangir Adel, Socheton Nagorik Somaj discussed on the presentation and expressed their positions. Chief guest of the dialogue Dr. Mujibur Rahman Hawlader blamed the government for not enacting the draft 2020 NRCC act. Participants of the dialogue agreed that NRCC should be equipped with proper legal instruments and human resources as soon as possible for saving the rivers.

This dialogue event is a systematic follow-up action of planned project activities by WKB Consortium. Recently WKB consortium has conducted studies to analyze the legislative landscape on water, air and noise pollution. With the findings and recommendations of the studies and subsequent Data Validation Workshop held on 2 April 2022 with CSOs and relevant government authorities.

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