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Water issues seriously should be taken into consideration: Hasin Jahan

Published : Saturday, 27 November, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 489
Farhana Naznin

Hasin Jahan, WaterAid Country Director of Bangladesh

Hasin Jahan, WaterAid Country Director of Bangladesh

Water, as a major element of our environment, never quite had "nearly enough" attention even though the way that climate change affects human beings is almost entirely through water. The severity of this issue is a reality that the world leader must understand, insisted Hasin Jahan, the WaterAid Country Director of Bangladesh. Recently she had attended at the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference where emphasized on this.
Ms Hasin who has been pursuing her progressive career in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector for last 25 years holding key positions in the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), DANIDA, WSP said her experience in the conference was positive, as this was the first gathering where people actually took Water issues into consideration. She however shared her experience with the Daily Observe
Tell us about your experience in COP26? What is your key takeaway from this conference?
The 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, or 'COP26', shall be considered noteworthy for a few reasons. We discussed about cutting emissions; protection of communities and natural habitats; mobilising climate finances and sustaining the climate crises through cooperative mindsets.
My personal takeaway would be that, the water-related issues received better acknowledgements this time. Water, as a major element of our environment, never quite had "nearly enough" attention at the previous climate conferences. At Glasgow, we witnessed a synergy to bring alterations on that regard. The way that climate change affects human beings is almost entirely through water. The severity of this issue is a reality that the world leader must understand. We saw significant transformation on the energy sector, and now we needed a similar a kind of action regarding the water crises. My overall experience was positive, as this was the first gathering where people actually took these issues into consideration.
What is your suggestion for countries like Bangladesh?
Based on the announcements made during the conference, experts are currently estimating that we are now on a path to witness between 1.8C and 2.4C of warming. This comes to countries like Bangladesh as a warning, since we have crossed the 'red line' by failing the Paris deal limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.
My suggestion would be that, we need to start preparing to face the consequences of the damage that has already been done, and address the growing issues to minimize future catastrophes. As harsh as it sounds, it is clear from the COP26 that the global north will sidestep vulnerable countries' hopes. We now have to make sure each of our vulnerable districts and its people are prepared for climate calamities. We have to ensure safe drinking water even more proactively. We also need to provide climate resilient sanitation supply in the coastal belt and flood prone areas.
What would be your expectations from the Government?
As I mentioned earlier, the global leaders' acknowledgement of the climate calamities is a dire need right now. Thankfully, our Government has had a participatory spirit regarding such complexities since the beginning. I expect our government to talk more about the linkages of water and climate changes, because raising awareness about the problem is the first step to solving it.
Representatives from the Bangladesh Government took part in the Resilient Water Accelerator, which showed positive prospects. The Resilient Water Accelerator brings together a number of partners including WRI, the British and Bangladesh governments. It aims to target those areas that are facing the maximum need to develop comprehensive water programmes. These programmes will be based on the premise that we cannot just fix one thing and expect everything to settle. We must ensure that in the face of climate impacts, vulnerable communities have clean and sufficient water resources, and that those resources are supported by thriving ecosystems.
How do you think our citizens can contribute on this aspect?
Representation from the Bangladeshi audience in COP has been very low, which is unfortunate. Bangladeshi citizens should actively take part in the COP process, because countries like Bangladesh are in the front of the fight. We must understand where we stand, how unstable our future climate prospects are, and act accordingly. I hope citizens will actively take more roles in the process in the future, and the newer generations will be trained to be prepared for the ever-growing changes.



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