BWP celebrated World Water Day on 22 March 2016 jointly with Centre for Environment and Geographical Information System (CEGIS), Institute of Water Modeling (IWM), Bangladesh National Committee of ICID (BANCID), Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO), Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and Department of Water Resource and Engineering (WRE) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). The celebration consisted of a half day seminar on “Water and Jobs” and was held in the Seminar Room of BUET Academic Council Building.
The event was graced by the participation of the chief guest- Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, M.P, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). Acknowledging that one third of the population of Bangladesh is in danger of losing its land to the sea with the current rate of sea-level rise, Barrister Mahmud assured that new type of technology and management adopted by the Government will effectively prevent any such situation. Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), said that the most affected victims of climate change induced natural disasters are the rural poor of the country and thus awareness raising programs should be conducted in every Zilla and Upazilla of the country. Md. Masud Ahmed, chair of the session, and the rest of the designated discussants agreed that to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021, management of water is a crucial issue. The entire program was anchored by Ms. Mukta Akter, Executive Secretary of BWP.
The seminar was attended by more than 100 participants including senior officials from the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Bangladesh Water Development Board, Water Resources Planning Organization including many other government and non-government organizations, academic institutions, research organizations working with water resource management in Bangladesh and also foreign participants from different developing agencies.A significant number of students and young water professionals also participated and shared their views on the theme of the day.
The day was celebrated with the major objective to appraise the stakeholders in water sector of the current scenario of water resources and management in Bangladesh and the present and probable job opportunities related to water.Two keynote papers were presented on the day by Md. Abdul Matin, Professor of Water Resource & Engineering (WRE), BUET and Dr. Khondaker Azharul Haq, President, BWP. Dr. Matin gave his presentation on ‘Prospect of Water Resources in Bangladesh: Role of Water Professionals’. Quoting UN Water, Dr. Matin reiterated the ‘multiplier effect’ of water in indirect employment opportunities. Dr. Haq, presented a paper on “Water and Jobs”. He gave a synopsis of how men have been historically linked with water and how water opens up a continuous cycle of jobs creating more multidisciplinary and subsidiary work.
Attracted by Dr. Haq’s presentation, the media took points from his speech and published them in a national daily newspaper titled "The Daily Star" on Wednesday, 23 March 2016. Attached is the segment of the newspaper where Dr. Haq was mentioned.
After speeches from experts and eminent pioneers of the field, the participants expressed their opinions and inquiries regarding the prospect of water and jobs in Bangladesh. A number of valuable recommendations came up from the political leaders, experts, young water professionals and general audience. The seminar was successful in creating a platform for active flow of ideas among different stakeholders in various tiers of the water-sector based hierarchy.