United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Unilever Bangladesh are going to implement a project in Narayanganj City Corporation in a holistic approach which includes people, public institutions and private business entities.
Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) hosted a meeting on February 10 with sector leaders from governance, development and private sectors. NCC Mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy, UNDP Bangladesh, Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee, and Unilever Bangladesh Chairman and Managing Director Kedar Lele joined the meeting with their respective teams.
NCC wants to build the city of Narayanganj as a model town that is free from plastic pollution, and the objective of the meeting was to mobilise the three sectors in achieving this goal by accelerating the operation of Plastic Project implemented by UNDP with financial support from Unilever.
UNDP RR Sudipto Mukerjee urged for innovation and community participation at all levels, mentioning art competition for children as a useful method for raising awareness among the young generation on plastic pollution. “What appears to be a small step ends up having a multiplier effect as the messaging on plastic pollution reaches parents and peers through children participating in the art competition,” explained Sudipto Mukerjee, adding that UNDP is committed to supporting NCC in their noble goal of reducing pollution.
Kedar Lele said he envisions strong community awareness on pollution as this project continues to be implemented. “Packaging products in small amounts allows people from lower-income brackets to purchase them, but it also contributes to pollution. Therefore, Unilever has a corporate social responsibility to address this, and we are committed to supporting projects that can mitigate the damage that plastic causes to the environment.”
NCC Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy assured full cooperation from the city corporation in addressing plastic pollution and reaffirmed her commitment to developing Narayanganj as a model city.
Prior to the meeting, the teams from UNDP and Unilever visited Sheikh Russel Shishu Park in Narayanganj, where an orientation on the innovative use of abandoned plastic and scraps was organised to raise awareness among park visitors.
Later the teams visited a community meeting organised by Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP) to learn about the project’s socio-economic progress. They also visited a temporary waste-dumping site to provide observations, suggestions and concerns on the city’s waste management system and safety of its staffers.