Char Development Settlement Project-B(AF)

Chronology of the project
The Meghna Estuary forms the central and most dynamic part of the coastal zone of Bangladesh. It is being shaped by a very complex set of interactions between physical processes. Factors that are particularly important in determining the outcome in terms of accretion and erosion are the sediment load, its transport and distribution; the discharge of water and the water levels; also, tidal forces and estuarine circulation. On average, around 1.1 billion tons of sediment is carried down by the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river system, the largest sediment load in any river system in the world. About one fifth of the sediments load is retained in the estuary, forming the raw material of the land accretion process. Surveys, based on satellite pictures and hydro-morphological behavior with specific to the Meghna estuary, have shown that each year there is a net accretion of around 20 km2: newly formed land of about 52 km2 minus eroded land of around 32 km2. The accretion dominates around islands south and south-east of the Noakhali mainland, and south-west of Bhola. The average yearly erosion of 32 km2 means that, with an assumed density of 800 people per km2, each year approximately 26,000 people (about 4,500 households) lose their land in the estuary. Many of them will move to newly emerged islands, locally known as Char, some of which may also be subject to erosion.

When a new Char becomes fit for cultivation, the families of climate change affected refugees by riverbank erosion from adjacent areas start migrating into the newly formed island for shelter and livelihood. A power broker, in many cases with ancestral links to newly accreted char land, tends to extend support and patronage to settlers. This type of autonomous settlement leads to a situation in which the official process of land settlement cannot start with a clean slate. Settlers are already present in new chars with active control over land before the official process has even started.

Powerful people, commonly known as jotdar, the settlers controlled by them, occupy the land. Immigration is illegal, because the land is under control of the Forest Department (for a period of 20 years after the start of the first afforestation activities). No institutions are present, except samaj (local communities), and mosque and madrassa committees.


  • They are vulnerable to a set of risks such as flooding, cyclonic surges, storms, salinity intrusion and sometimes to the threat of eviction by competing gangs.
  • The land, usually with a level of less than 3m PWD, is subject to regular flooding.
  • There is no access to hygienic drinking water, especially in winter and limited communication.
  • For food, the settlers are dependent on a low-yielding rice Aman crop, some traditional rabi crops and small fish grown in ponds or caught in open waters.
  • some income is derived from tending cattle. People have no official title over the land they occupy.
  • absence of livelihood and social livelihood support. including improving aquaculture and supporting livestock development.

  • In the early 80’s Land Reclamation Project (LRP) has been initiated with the funding of Government of Netherlands to support the newly accreted char’s community to support the climate change refugees settlers for their livelihood needs.

    As a follow-up CDSP has since its start 1994 aimed to reach the poor and disadvantaged segments of the population in the project areas. Before the start of its activities in the project area the living standards of most of the population in the project area were below the poverty line, and most households are landless, or small and marginal farmers. During 1994 to 2018, CDSP has successfully completed its four phases completed an enormous exceptional contribution among the coastal islands(chars) under an Integrated unique approach combining 5-6 Govt Implementing Agencies along with 4-8 Partner NGOs continued up the current CDSP-B(AF) involving women community in all aspects of interventions thru local field level institutions.

    Unique characteristics of multidisciplinary project organ

    From the inception of the has been designed considering climate change concept with the components and Govt -Non govt combination with all implementing and supporting agencies.

    1. Protection from Climate Change
    Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) is the coordinating agency. Forest Department (FD)
    2. Climate Change Resilient Infrastructure
    Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) including Agriculture & NGOs Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE)
    3. Land Settlement and Titling
    Ministry of Land (MoL)
    4. Institutional Development and Livelihood Support
    Non-Government Organizations
    5. Technical assistance and management support


    The overall development objective of CDSP-B(AF) is to reduce poverty and hunger for poor people living on newly accreted coastal chars, which would be achieved via improved and more secure livelihood.

    A first specific objective of the Project will be to consolidate the achievements of the earlier CDSP phases I to IV. The Project will continue support for CDSP I, II, III, & IV areas with operation and maintenance activities and land settlement. Security for people and livelihoods has already been provided during these phases via climate resilient infrastructure and by providing poor households with legal title to land.

    A second specific objective of the project is the preparation of future investments in char development in the Southeastern delta. The project is one of the parts of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and as priority plan 5, for future investments substantial preparatory work is required.

    Finally, a more permanent institutional and organizational arrangement or structure will be designed which will be able to act as planning and coordination mechanism between the GoB agencies involved in coastal char development. The feasibility study for CDSP-V will explicitly address these fundamental adjustments of the CDSP approach. Geographically CDSP-B(AF) covers the combined project areas of CDSP phases I to IV and the prospective project area of CDSP V.

    CDSP is aiming to contribute with approach by delivering the following outputs: • Effective management of water resources, • Climate smart protection against tidal and storm surges, improved drainage; • Climate resilient internal infrastructure for communication, markets, cyclone shelters, provision of potable water and an improved hygienic situation; • Provision to the settlers of a legal title to land; improved livelihoods and household resilience; • Institutional development in order to create an enabling institutional environment; • Knowledge management through undertaking and disseminating surveys and studies and by learning from ICZM efforts.

    The approach to be followed in essence be modelled on the experiences gained during the implementation of the successive phases of CDSP. This approach is characterized by an emphasis on people’s participation through the establishment and strengthening of Field Level Institutions (FLI) and effective coordination of the contributions of key service providers (both GoB institutions and NGOs) with the requirements of the FLI. Field Level Institutions that are facilitated by the project include Water Management Organizations at different levels (WMG, WMA and WMF), Social Forestry Groups, Tube well User Groups, Farmers Forums, Labor Contracting Societies and Micro Credit & Savings Groups. In each of these groups a specific gender balance is assured. Project must address the challenges of climate change; Engineering designs will consider likely future rises in sea levels and changes in precipitation. At the household level the project will reduce vulnerability and mitigate risks from climate-related factors.

    Table: Project Areas

    LRP & CDSP
    Name of Char Gross Area
    Net Cultivable
    Area (Hectare)
    Households Population
    LRP Polder CBD-I 1,688 1,090 1,307 8,328
    Sub Total 1,688 1,090 1,307 8,328
    CDSP I Polder CBD-II 2,065 1,440 2,367 15,077
    Char Masjid Polder 1,320 924 2,440 15,541
    Char Vatirtek polder 1,748 1,220 2,583 16,451
    Sub Total 5,133 3,584 7,389 47,069
    CDSP II South Hatiya polder 2,759 1,904 3,332 21,223
    Moradona (Polder in CDSP III) 1,793 1,237 2,989 19,043
    Gangchil Torabali 743 513 333 2,123
    Char Lakshmi (Polder in CDSP IV) 944 651 1,036 6,600
    Polder 59/3B 3,486 2,405 3,872 24,662
    Polder 59/3C 12,825 8,849 14,786 94,189
    Nijumdwip Char Osman 519 358 822 5,236
    Nijumdwip Bandar Tila 650 449 1,086 6,916
    Sub Total 23,719 16,366 28,256 179,992
    CDSP III Polder Boyer Char 6,600 4,620 9,500 65,000
    Sub Total 6,600 4,620 9,500 65,000
    CDSP IV Polder Char Nangulia 8,530 5,970 15,133 89,167
    Polder Noler Char 2,560 1,790 6,152 36,297
    Caring Char 2,200 1,540 2,638 15,564
    Polder Char Ziauddin 1,943 1,360 2,380 14,042
    Urir Char 10,300 8,300 2,725 16,078
    Sub Total 25,533 17,618 29,028 171,148
    CDSP V Char Kolatoli 2,523 1,741 2,866 14,731
    Char Mozammel 3,760 2,594 3,195 15,592
    Dhal Char 2,021 1,394 253 1,417
    Char Maksumul Hakim 3,230 2,229 2,100 11,000
    Sub Total 11,534 7,958 8,414 42,740
    Grand Total 74,207 51,203 83,895 514,277

    CDSP -B(AF) chars are within the five phases of the project, with a total area of about 40,000 ha (including 30% in non-polder areas) and a total of 57,000 households are receiving direct goods and services and other benefits from the project. The individual area of each char is a part of the gross areas as shown in the following table. These chars are in the different locations of Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Chattogram districts.

    CDSP Future Phase (CDSP- V)
    As currently planned the future CDSP V phase includes four coastal chars:
    • Char Kolatoli, with an area of about 2,523 ha (6,232 acres)
    • Char Mozammel, with an area of 3,700 ha (9,139 acres)
    • Dhal Char, with an area of 2,021 ha (4,992 acres)
    • Char Maksumul Hakim, with an area of 3,230 ha (7978 acres)

    Limited number of interventions like construction of Deep Tube Well and sanitary latrines, Killa (raised land to be used for shelter of cattle) and Multipurpose Cyclone Shelters are being built by implementing agencies. Three cyclone shelters have already been built on Dhal char, Char Mozammel and Char Maksumul Hakim.

    It may be noted that CDSP-B(AF) has conduct a Hydro-Morphological Study and planning exercise in the Meghna Estuary based on that a national workshop was organized and recommended 12 coastal chars to undertake a feasibility study for future CDSP-V phase. The selected chars are.

        Char Moksumul Hakim, Char Kolatoli, Char Mozammel, Dhal Char (CDSP-V), Domer Char, Nijhuim Dwip, Andhar Char, Char Kukri Mukri, Char Lakshmi, Char Nizam, Char Sakuchi, Dhal Char.

    In BWDB RDPP the provision of feasibility study budget has been included and the preparatory works are ongoing which could be undertaken immediate after approval of RDPP.