Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Most of landless-poor deprived of UNDP's construction facility

KURIGRAM, Aug 30: Most of the landless and ultra-poor families have been deprived of the construction facility funded by UNDP. Only 254 of those families in three upazilas have received assistance in the form of house construction but without water and sanitation facilities.

An NGO, RDRS-Bangla-desh, funded by UNDP rehabilitated the 254 families by constructing a tin-shed for each family at the cost of Tk 2,855 per tin-shed.

Of these, 24 houses were built at Gharialdanga union under Rajarhat Upazila, 100 at Hatiya and Buraburi unions under Ulipur Upazila and 130 at Tanahat and Ramna unions under Chilmari Upazila. Those families had lost their houses in the flood in 2007.

The houses were handed over during a formal meeting which was presided over by Ramna UP Chairman and Principal of Chilmari Degree College Md. Abul Kasem and held at Chilmari office of RDRS-Bangladesh recently, where Chilmari UNO Enamul Haque was chief guest and Programme Coordinator of RDRS-Bangladesh Md. Nazrul Goni and Representative (Field Monitor) of UNDP Kazi Tanjeela Salam were special guests.

The Field Supervisor Abdus Salam told this correspondent that there are at least 300 ultra-poor families in each union of Chilmari Upazila and about 4,000 landless families. Of them, only 130 families in Ramna and Thanahat union could be taken under the programme due to the limitation of UNDP.

The Representative of UNDP said many poor families could not be included in the programme. "The constructed houses may be shifted easily to another place. Those who have some land were the ones who were given the assistance on a priority basis," she added.

The UNO said to this correspondent, "I don't know how many landless families are there in the upazila, but we are trying to learn actual figure which will eventually be included in a website database."

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