International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has signed a €10.5 million contract with the Bangladesh Water Development Board for engineering consultancy services to protect Bangladesh’s vulnerable coastal zone, home to millions of people.
The next six years Royal HaskoningDHV will be responsible for the detailed design, construction supervision and project management support of hundreds of kilometres of embankment to protect 17 coastal polders and its inhabitants and their livelihoods from natural disasters and climate change. The total project area is some 1,000 square kilometres.
The contract is part of the World Bank financed Coastal Embankment Improvement Project, Phase-1 (CEIP-1) of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Taking into account climate change
Mr Sarafat Hossain Khan, CEIP-1 Project Director of the Bangladesh Water Development Board said, “The vulnerability of the coastal population is on the rise due to climate change. Climate variability will accentuate the intrinsic risks facing coastal Bangladesh. These risks span cyclones and storm surges, river bank erosion and vulnerability of islands and chars, sea level rise, saline water intrusion, and coastal river erosion. A recent study indicated that if a 10 year return period cyclone hit our coastal area today, about 8 million people will be affected by inundation depths greater than 3 metres.”
Resilient to natural disasters
Royal HaskoningDHV’s Project Director Mr Roelof Moll said, “We are very proud to be part of the many projects the Government of Bangladesh is launching to protect their coastal zone. The area holds numerous natural resources including fresh water, oil and gas and minerals. Making the area more resilient to natural disasters and climate change will provide resilience to vulnerable communities and revitalise social and economic developments.”
The contract was signed 30 December 2014 during a special signing ceremony in Dhaka by Mr Sarafat Hossain Khan of the Bangladesh Water Development Board and Mr Roelof Moll of Royal HaskoningDHV. Present also were several high officials from the Ministry of Water Resources, Bangladesh, the World Bank, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology BUET and His Excellency Mr Gerben de Jong, Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh.
Royal HaskoningDHV will be working with a team of four sub-consultants: Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) and from Bangladesh: DevConsultants (DevCon), Design Planning & Management Consultants (DPM) and the Institute of Water Modelling (IWM).