Underprivileged people, living around Bibiyana gasfield in Sylhet district, are becoming solvent as they have started earning through cattle and vegetable farming. Once, these people had to face serious difficulties in leading their lives due to want of most of the basic needs. They did not get sufficient food, medicare services and education.
And these people also had to pass hard days as they did not have sufficient financial supports. But now they have become independent as they work round the clock on their cattle and vegetable farms. ‘Jibika’ a multi-year joint project of Bangladesh Partnership initiative (BPI) which launched in 2014 aim to support economic development of the communities surrounding Chevron operated gasfield in the greater Sylhet region.
This is the first of BPI’s enterprise development projects implemented by BRAC, partnered with Institute of Development Affairs (IDEA).The project works in two main areas-governance improvement of Village Development Organizations (VDO) and enabling enterprise development for small entrepreneurs. BRAC inherited 112 VDOs from Chevron in 2015. This project will continue its effort to bring modern technology and implement innovative practices with available technologies in years ahead.
In its first phase 2015-2019 about 20,000 people in the community benefitted, 58% women participated in VDO’s, 780 women received leadership training , and 1980 VDO micro entrepreneurs supported with improved access to finance. In addition, in the second phase, it targeted strengthening cooperative governance, enhancing growth potential of cooperative and members through fund management.
Muhammed Ahsanaul Jabbar, additional Secretary to Ministry of Power Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) Division, inaugurated the 'Jibika' project second phase in the capital’s BRAC Center at noon Thursday.He said, “how the project affected people’s lives and changed them remarkably, is simply amazing.Bangladesh government is working step by step smoothly to improve rural and city people’s living standards.
Chevron’s contributions to our energy sector is exceptional. Government always stands beside the people. In years to come, regarding health, education and economic development operations, never feel alone, the government is always thinking about you. If you need any help, please come to us.”Jibika Phase II ( in three years by 2022) aims to strengthen the cooperative governance of village cooperatives by enhancing their growth potential and that of their members through the provision of business support to 22,500 people living in the vicinity of Chevron-operated gas fields in the greater Sylhet region. The project will be implemented under BRAC’s Integrated Development Programme (IDP) and supported by Chevron’s Bangladesh Partnership Initiative (BPI).
As a chief guest, Muhammed Ahsanul Jabbar, Additional Secretary, Energy and Mineral Resources Division, was present. Alexander Yelland , General Manager, Corporate Affairs Chevron Asia South, Ismail Chowdhury, Director, Corporate Affairs, Chevron Bangladesh and Emily Gosselin, Programme Manager, Agriculture & Rural Livelihoods, BRAC USA attended the event as guests of honor. The event was chaired by Asif Saleh, Executive Director (acting), BRAC.