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Socio-Economic Enhancement in Kalabadha


Dr Shafi Noor Islam gave a FASS Seminar entitled 'Socio-Economic Enhancement of Kalabadha Green Village of Jamalpur District: A Planning Approach for Sustainable Countryside Management in Bangladesh'.

The rural area of Bangladesh is gifted with vast natural resources, deltaic flat and rural ecological environment which is vital for the communities’ survival. Rural land-use changes have extended a substantial impact on the culture, society and local economy. Over 65% of the people live in the rural villages and are directly dependent on natural resources, so the natural resources are enormously important for socio-economic enhancement. Kalabadha is one of the model villages of Jamalpur district whose landscape and land-use patterns are continuously altering. In recent years the rural villages have undergone substantial change due to rural development policies for village sustainability. The study investigates the rural land use, landscape protection and planning approach to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods as well as socio-economic development of Kalabadha green village of Jamalpur district and other villages in Bangladesh.

Kalabadha is an ideal village located in the Brahmaputra River catchment area. The old Brahmaputra River runs through the east side of the village and in the rainy season the north-eastern portion of the village is inundated by flooding and monsoon rains. The old Brahmaputra River is the border line between Kalabadha Mouza of Melandha upazila and Char-Dadna mouza of Islampur upazila.

The area of Kalabadha village is 3.7 km² (3 mouzas) and in 2012 the population was estimated to be about 730 . The village is surrounded by villages such as Sultankhali mouza, Jangalia mouza, Sarulia mouza of Melandha upazila and Char-Dadna mouza of Gaibandha union of Islampur upazila of Jamalpur district.

Figure 1. The geographical locations and characteristics of Kalabadha Village in Bangladesh

The land use and land distribution pattern in rural Bangladesh is more or less similar. The historical distribution pattern was dominated by the Jamindar (the aristocratic group or like a landlord). The rural land distribution was also dominated by the government as well as by the landloard. In the immediate past, the land resources were the property of the landlord and provincial government, but gradually the land was distributed to the dwellers and the citizens of the country. Figure 2 shows that a major portion of land (50%) is used for agricultural purposes.

Figure 2. Present land-use and land distribution in the Kalabadha Green Village

The second highest portion of land uses (20% land) for human settlement development and relevant purposes and thirds highest portion of land is (4% land used for river and 4% land used for forest). On the other hand some potential sectors are patronizing only 2% land in Kalabadha village such as water body covers 2%, Fish culture covers 2%, Sand land covers 2 %, Fellow land covers 2%, Institution covers 2%, Playground covers 2%, Shops and small market (Bazar) place covers 1% land area and Religion institution covers only 1 % rural land in Kalabadha green village. The land distribution and land-use patterns are changing on a very radical basis.

Considering the time scale in the land use pattern has been changed due to population growth, settlement development, rural urbanization, construction and agricultural extension and other developmental activities in the rural areas

Figure 3. Land use changing pattern and growth of rural settlement of Kalabadha Village

Table 1. Livelihoods and income range of the village inhabitants in 2017

This study has revealed that the land use changing pattern, ecosystem services and people efforts for rural socio-economy and livelihoods are gradually improved, the national GDP of Bangladesh is 1,629 $ US and the similar scenario has been seen at Kalabadha village.

Considering the MDGs (17 major goals of the United Nations), the study also seeks the achievement and success of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) of the United Nations in micro scale level and which is moving to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the rural areas in Bangladesh as well as at the Kalabadha Green village and lessons learnt from this village that could be implemented in other rural villages in Bangladesh. The findings of this study is the shed light on the rural landaus changing pattern, livelihoods, socio-economic development and micro level ecosystem services management of Kalabadha green village in Bangladesh.

The flood, riverbank erosion and anthropogenic influences are the common threats for rural landscapes, ecosystem and livelihood sustainability in the Kalabadha village of the old Brahmaputra River catchment area in Jamalpur district territories in Bangladesh. There is a linkage between flood and erosion and micro ecosystem services in the rural landscapes in the Brahmaputra deltaic region. The rural land use, micro ecosystem services and biodiversity are the most vulnerable due to natural calamities and human influences in the river catchments. The ecological degradation, floods, river bank erosion, inundation, poverty and food insecurity are the common issues for the inhabitants of Kalabadha village.

Figure 4. The cultural landscape pattern in Kalabadha Village

Figure 5. Rural Landuse practices in agriculture, wetland and rural communication in Kalabadha

Figure 6. Landuse and rural primary economic practices in Kalabadha Village

This study found that indigenous knowledge of the rural people is an important means of survival during the floods and erosion time. An integrated rural land use management plan and guideline framework for livelihood is urgently needed for rural sustainable development of land-use in rural areas in Bangladesh.

The average income of the inhabitants of Kalabadha village is 1,629 $ US (National GDP) (which is indicating middle income countries status).

The study found 6 agenda of MDGs which will have reached the goals before 2030:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Promote gender equality and empower women
  3. Reduce child mortality
  4. Improved maternal health
  5. Combat malaria and other diseases
  6. Ensure environmental sustainability