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SACCJF organize country`s first public hearing of climate victims

Climate victims at a public hearing in BangladeshDhaka: South Asian Climate Change Journalists’ Forum (SACCJF) organize country`s first public hearing of climate victims in Bangladesh. Thousands of families affected by floods, droughts, epidemics and natural disasters, gathered in Char area of Kamarjani union in Gaibandha district, the northern part of Bangladesh. They are affected by the negative effects of climate change. For this, they blamed the rich countries of the world, and hence demanded compensation for the damages.

A local NGO of Gaibandha Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) was co-organizer of this public hearing. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman, MP, was the chief guest at this public hearing. Mahabub Ara Begum Gini, MP, Whip of Bangladesh Jatiya Sangshad, Deputy Commissioner of Gaibandha Md. Oliur Rahman and Kamal Hossain, Superintendent of Police, were the special guests. Abdus Salam, Founder and CEO of GUK, a local NGO of the area, presided it over. Moderated by SACCJF executive president Karamot Ullah Biplob, water and climate scientist Prof. Dr. Ainun Nishat, SACCJF President Asish Gupta, author and researcher Prof. Zahurul Qayyum were on the panel of judges.

saccjfAfter inaugurating the hearing at noon, the guests were greeted with flowers. Then M. Abdus Salam gave his welcome address. Later, the public hearing of Char residents affected by negative effects of climate change was held.

At the end of the hearing, the members of the judges’ panel gave their verdict. After that, 12 men and women, affected by climate change, were given ‘Climate Warrior’ medals. While addressing, after distributing the medals, the speakers said that due to natural disasters caused by climate change, people of the coastal areas of Bangladesh and the river basins have suffered a lot. In the last three decades, the people of these areas have been affected by storms, floods and river erosions.

saccjfGreenhouse effect caused by rise in global temperature resulted in significant changes in the course of rivers such as sea level rise and loss of navigability of rivers. As a result, sea water is overflowing in coastal areas due to climate change. Millions of people have lost their livelihood due to frequent natural disasters like flood and river erosions every year.

In the hearing, the affected local residents highlighted various issues of social and economic losses in 165 islands of Gaibandha including Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts due to climate change effects.