The Local Government Division (LGD) and UNDP Bangladesh have initiated a climate-resilient housing project for 336 urban low-income families in Gopalganj Paurashava.
Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP, formally inaugurated the scheme at a ceremony on Tuesday by laying its foundation stone.
The housing scheme is being built in a 3.19 acre of land donated by the paurashava involving BDT 30.33 crore under the Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP) – a joint project implemented by the LGD, Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government and UNDP Bangladesh.
It will offer facilities including agricultural land, playground, courtyard, pond, kitchen market, walkway, rainwater harvesting, fire safety, efficient solar energy sources and power substation.
“The Government has been working tirelessly to ensure improved lives for a cross-section of people. Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a target in Mujib Borsho that not a single person will remain without address or home. We are working to ensure an address for everyone so that no one is left behind,” Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP said while inaugurating the scheme.
Chaired by Kazi Liaquat Ali, Mayor, Gopalganj Paurashava, Dipak Chakraborty, Additional Secretary, LGD, Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, John Warburton, Team Leader and Senior Climate Change Adviser of FCDO in Bangladesh, Ashekur Rahman, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, Md Abdul Mannan, former National Project Director, LIUPC project, Md Iqbal Hossain, Additional District Magistrate, Gopalganj, Mahbub Ali Khan, social worker and founder of Jugoshikha Girls High School also addressed.
The housing condition for the urban poor communities in Bangladesh is highly challenging and is mostly unsanitary, poorly serviced and densely populated. They are also often located in environmentally hazardous areas, which play a devastating role in the lives of the urban poor routinely, with a greater prevalence of ill health and exposure to climate vulnerabilities.
Despite having a rich historical background and political prominence, Gopalganj Municipality lacks basic facilities ordinarily present at a first-class municipality, such as well-planned housing for the dwellers, systematic drainage networks, roads, sanitary system, and recreational facilities.
Against this backdrop, LIUPC project has come up with affordable and climate-resilient housing for the extreme poor living in urban slums in Gopalganj.
“This housing will offer more than just a shelter. It will facilitate not only long-term tenure security but also provide them with a sustainable and improved living standard which considers climatic resilience,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.
“The design of the housing has incorporated tropical and climate resilient architecture, economy, environment, local context, and sustainability as well as aspects making it friendly for children, people with special needs and elderly people,” said Dipak Chakraborty, Additional Secretary, LGD.
Kazi Liaquat Ali, Mayor, Gopalganj Paurashava, said that participation from the Community and Paurashava ensured inclusiveness during each design phase.
This newly formed diverse community will lead and run the housing complex by themselves following the establishment of a community organization, which will decide on a monthly fee to manage operation and maintenance work and expenditures. Homeowners will bear the cost of utility services.
The tenure security of the selected beneficiaries will be for 99 years, and the ownership will be in a joint modality between the household head and his/her spouse. However, the home is not rentable, saleable and transferable.
The beneficiary of these housing units will be identified through a rigorous selection process following approved guidelines that consider the household income, the number of dependents, length of stay, climate distressed/displaced population, landlessness, homelessness, and disability.