A large international consortium, led by the Dutch consultancy firm Twynstra Gudde, has won the European tender for the development of the Bangladesh Delta Plan (BDP2100), a crucial plan for Bangladesh. The other consortium partners are Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, ECORYS, Witteveen+Bos, D.EFAC.TO, Deltares, Wageningen UR, UNESCO-IHE, the Climate Adaptation Services foundation, and Bangladeshi companies Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) and Institute of Water Modelling (IWM).
Bangladesh has achieved a remarkably consistent average economic growth rate of 6% over the last two decades. Nevertheless, the country faces major challenges to be able to continue that growth. Challenges in the field of climate change, water safety and food security. Bangladesh is a delta with many rivers and a low-lying coastal zone, and is therefore vulnerable to flooding. The country also has to deal with huge water quality problems. Therefore, Bangladesh needs a coherent and coordinated long-term strategic plan and at the same time pragmatic support to implement adaptive measures.
Many challenges lie ahead for Bangladesh if it wants to survive. The Dutch-Bangladeshi consortium will work on these challenges, together with the Government of Bangladesh and other stakeholders. In 30 months, the consortium will develop a sustainable and supported strategy, in combination with an implementation plan, to cope with the water-related problems in the country. The consortium reflects the wide variety of expertise required in the preparation of the Delta Plan. The integrated approach aims to align knowledge of content with institutional development and governance, and the creation of strong socio-political support. The multidisciplinary and multicultural team has state of the art knowledge and experience in the field of interactive strategy development and water governance, hydrology, engineering, agriculture, sanitation and water supply, finances and program management. Key elements of the strategy and plan include scenario development, spatial planning, a strategic vision with an overview of adaptive measures, and the implementation of pilot projects.
The contract is awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in close coordination with the Ministry of Planning of Bangladesh. It has a value of approximately € 6.5 million. Waiting for the final contracting, the project will start in January 2014, and lasts 2.5 years. The project is a beautiful example of the Dutch development policy. The Netherlands seeks an intensive bilateral development relationship, focusing on the countries’ self-reliance and creating opportunities for private initiatives and research institutes. The Bangladeshi parties CEGIS and IWM are part of the consortium, resulting in optimal collaboration and knowledge exchange with other parties in Bangladesh. The intensive local involvement also ensures continuity even after the project ends.