Surface water conservation, managed aquifer recharge and afforestation can be the best way of protecting climate and water in the Barind area from further degradation.
Adverse impact of climate change and abnormal declining of groundwater are posing a serious threat to the existing living and livelihood conditions of the people, particularly the marginalized and other low-income groups.
Development activists and other social watchdogs came up with the observation while addressing an inter-generation human chain and street-corner meeting at Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in the city yesterday afternoon.
Representatives and members of 25 volunteer organizations in the Barind area organized the meeting to mark the International Youth Day.
Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK) and Barendra Region Youth Organisations Forum (BRYOF) supported the programme.
BRYOF Member-Secretary Shaikh Tasnim, valiant Freedom Fighter Dr Abdul Mannan, River and Environment Researcher Mahbub Siddiqui and Chairman of Save the Nature Mijanur Rahman addressed the meeting as resource persons disseminating their expertise.
BARCIK Regional Coordinator Shahidul Islam presented a keynote paper putting forward a seven-point recommendation on the issues concerned.
He said ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation in drought-prone Barind Tract are crucial to protect its major farming system from the adverse impact of climate change.
Climate change has already started posing a serious threat to the vital sectors like agriculture, fisheries, forestry, livestock, health and sanitation in the high Barind tract. So, there is no alternative to adopt effective measures to address the odd situation.
Emphasis should be given on integrated water resource management, besides creating a mass awareness about judicious use of both surface and underground water for reducing the pressure on groundwater table in the dry area.
Mahbub Siddiqui said optimum aquifer recharge in the Barind tract is very important to protect its existing agricultural ecosystem through managing a groundwater basin efficiently and effectively.
The drought-prone area is turning into an extreme drought zone owing to scarcity of water due to the adverse impact of climate change and other environmental degradations.
Siddiqui said promotion of managed aquifer recharge can be the vital means of halting furthermore declining of ground water level in the high Barind area.
He said time has come to create awareness to halt the alarming decline of the groundwater layer. Aquifer recharge activities should be promoted at household level side by side with various institutions and industries artificially.
Surface water conservation is of essence of mitigating the water crisis, which is being deepened due to deficit of rainfall, in the region, including its vast Barind tract, as inadequate rainfall has been escalating the crises in the region for the last couple of years.