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Char Development and Settlement Project


Welcome to CDSP Website. The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta has a regular dynamic character of accretion and erosion of newly emerged coastal islands locally known as ‘Char’ resulting from the deposition of sediment coming from those mighty rivers. Institutionally the new char lands are virgin territory where service deliveries of government agencies are absent or rarely present. Living conditions on the chars are harsh, the land is completely inaccessible and can only be reached by boat and on foot. The people living there are exposed to nature and the land is flooded by tidal saline water are a regular phenomenon. There is no safe drinking water, health services or sanitation, very limited traditional agricultural practices, and no education. As a result, coastal chars are reigned over by so-called ‘jotdars’ and ‘bahinis’/’mastans’ (illegal gangs/musclemen) the local power holders(brokers) who provide temporary protection to poor char dwellers in return for illegal money.

To reduce the social, institutional and environmental vulnerability faced in char areas, the Government initiated the Land Reclamation Project (LRP) implemented by the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) during 1979-91 with grant support from the Government of the Netherlands.

The Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP) has been initiated since 1994 with phase- I and completed I- IV phases were the successor of this LRP; CDSP became a multi-agency integrated project with BWDB as lead agency and the participation of: Ministry of Land (MoL), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Forest Department (FD) and Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE). The first three phases of CDSP were implemented solely with the grant support from the Government of the Netherlands and the Government of Bangladesh. In the fourth phase of CDSP, the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) came forward with credit support for the Government of Bangladesh. In July 2019, a new phase as Bridging (Additional Financing) was initiated and will be completed by June 2024 along with the support consisting of 22 chars of previous I-IV phases with to the 57,000 household and total population of 5,14,277.

The overall objective of CDSP is to reduce poverty and hunger for poor char dwellers living on newly accreted coastal chars, which is being achieved via improved and more secure livelihoods.

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