‘Coastal Day’ was celebrated for the sixth time on 12 November 2022 demanding effective measures to be taken to protect the coast for the existence of the coastal people. On Saturday morning, a human chain and rally was held in front of the Sundarban Press Club near Munshiganj Bazar of Shyamnagar Upazila to celebrate ‘Coastal Day’ organized by LEDARS and Sundarban Press Club.
Md. Belal Hossain, member and former editor of Sundarban Press Club, presided over the Coastal Day celebrations, prominent social worker Md. Shahidul Islam, Advocacy Officer of LEDARS, Poritosh Kumar Baidya and others were also present.
The President said, “On November 12, 1970, a catastrophic cyclone destroyed everything on the coast. Due to climate change, the coastal people are living a difficult life compared to other parts of the country. For this reason, additional funds should be allocated for this area. Coastal people will not be able to survive unless we can provide fresh water and sustainable embankment.”
The speakers also said that due to frequent natural calamities, the life of coastal people has become miserable. Many people are leaving the coast and moving to other places because they cannot survive on the coast after losing everything. Coastal people want to survive this struggle.
On this day of November 12, 1970, the coastal region of the country was devastated by a terrible cyclone. Many families were wiped out. Many lost relatives, parents, brothers and sisters and became destitute. Around 10 lakh people died (unofficially) in coastal region of Bangladesh. 53 years have passed since that terrible day, yet the people of the coast are haunted by its painful memories.
The affected people and the civil society placed their demands for the protection of the south-west coastal area:
- November 12 should be declared as National Coastal Day
- Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat districts should be declared climate prone or disaster prone areas,
- Special plan for protection of south-west coastal zone and special allocation in the budget for the financial year 2023-24,
- One house one shelter project should be started in the coastal areas,
- Sustainable and permanent embankment should be constructed,
- Fragile sluice gates should be repaired,
- Prevention system should be developed with adequate cyclone shelters in proportion to the population,
- Sustainable and permanent solutions for food and water for all coastal people,
- Coastal Development Board to be formed,
- Large-scale tree planting programs should be undertaken in the coasts, islands and grasslands and parabons or green belts should be built,
12. Effective measures should be taken to protect the Sundarbans.