DHV wins consultancy contract for Meghna estuary development in Bangladesh

News - March 9, 2007

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Bangladesh has awarded DHV a contract for an Estuary Development Programme.

Satellite image Meghna estuary.

The Government of Bangladesh has awarded a DHV-led consortium a US$3.9 million consultancy contract for the Estuary Development Programme.

The project's main objective is to increase the physical safety of the people living in the Meghna estuary.

The Meghna estuary, which covers 6,000km2, is one of the world's largest: the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers all flow through it before discharging their waters into the Bay of Bengal.

The extreme forces of nature - tropical cyclones, storm surges, floods, extremely high river flows - cause severe problems in the area, and have led to the loss of thousands of lives and much property.

The Estuary Development Programme (EDP), financed by the Government of the Netherlands, is a four-year programme, which aims at: mitigating natural disasters; improving natural resource management; and creating opportunities for sustainable development.

The EDP will form the planning framework for the long-term development activities of various coastal zone programs, many of which deal with livelihood development on a local scale.
 
The DHV-led consortium will be responsible for the masterplan for the development of the Meghna estuary. The EDP requires the continuous updating of hydro-morphological knowledge of the rapidly changing estuary. The consortium will manage extensive surveys of the estuary, and analyze its morphological development using mathematical modeling and remote sensing.
 
The programme will propose cost-effective means of erosion control and enhancement of land accretion.

For specific locations, DHV and its consortium partners will identify, design and implement suitable initiatives - such as cross-dams and erosion control works - in the form of pilot projects.

The strengthening of the Bangladesh Water Development Board, which deals with estuary development, as well as the sharing of knowledge and technology, are also an important part of the project.
 
The consortium includes Royal Haskoning (the Netherlands) and four associated Bangladesh companies.

The project, which is a continuation of the Meghna Estuary Studies (MES), which a DHV-led consortium carried out from 1995 to 2001 under the Flood Action Plan (FAP), commences this month.

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