Addressing the rights and needs of climate forced displaced people in South-Eastern Coast

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A beneficiaries of YPSA receiving tailoring training from trainers
Advocacy meeting with local journalists for broadcasting news and feature about problem of climate displaced people
Community Team arranged human chain program infront of Pekua upazila administration complex
Community Team members organized human chain for protection of Kutubdia from coastal erosion
Community Team members working voluntary for Embankment protection at Kutubdia
Court yard meeting with female participants of Pekua upazila
Discussion with community team members of Banskhali
Heather visited beneficiaries houses of Banskhali
Jannatul Nahar of Pukuria Union, Banskhali busy her activities with her new swing machine
Minu Ara Begum of Kutubdia discussing with YPSA team about her experiences
Mohammad Shahjahan, Deputy Director and Focal Person of YPSA-CJRF delivering speech in the COP25
old men from his house who got roof sheet from YPSA
Rubi Begum
Swing machine receiver of Banskhali showing her training skill
Swing Machine receiver Sultana Afroz from Pekua upazila expressing her dream for self employment
UNO of Kutubdia distribution roof sheet materials to Beneficiaries
Upazila level advocacy meeting with stakeholders of Pekua upazila.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Banskhali delivering her speech during advocacy meeting
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Banskhali inaugurated roof sheet distribution to beneficiaries
Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Pekua inaugurated the roof sheet distribution to beneficiary
Women in front of her houses who received roof sheet from YPSA
Women in front of her houses with YPSA provided goat
YPSA Poster Presentation during the International Tribunal on Eviction
YPSA team handover the Sewing machine to the beneficiaries who received tailoring training
YPSA team sharing the reason of community team formation to the community people of Banskhali

Project Title: Addressing the rights and needs of climate forced displaced people in South-Eastern Coast of Bangladesh


Climate change in Bangladesh has started what may become the largest mass displacement and migration in human history. According to the report of Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), in 2018, total new disaster displacement in Bangladesh is 78,000. It has already been forecasted that around 9.6 million people in the country will migrate due to climatic factors between 2011 and 2050, excluding temporary and seasonal migrations. Among the 64 districts in Bangladesh, 26 coastal and mainland districts are already producing climate displacement. Therefore, Bangladesh will have to face the challenge of mass displacement; both in external and internal, due to climate change as the country is not yet adequately prepared in providing permanent rights based solution through relocation of such a large number of climate displaced people.

During the survey (2018) in the South-Eastern Coast of Bangladesh we have found that still there are around 15,000 people (those have no lands) living in the temporary settings (road side, embankment side) after forced displacement without having basic facilities such as shelter (53% houses made with bamboo and thatch leaves), water (1 tube well for almost 150 families) & sanitation (54% open latrine), limited opportunity for livelihood as they don’t have alternative skills particularly among the women. As they mostly live in the marginal lands of hard to reach area and due to their very poor status, they are not aware about the hygiene practices, bad impact of open defecation as a result there children and pregnant women are mostly malnourish. Even they are not aware about their rights and from where they can get benefit.

From the study and long working experiences in Bangladesh, it is observed that climate forced displacement is not only happening among the poor people it’s equally happening to the well-off people as well who are exposed to the disaster. But those are comparatively well off, they find themselves to be self relocated to the nearby safer places and living secured life, on the other hand those are poor have no capacity to purchase land and construct house left behind and living vulnerable situation. Here important lesson is relocation in nearby place is not challenging if anybody have capacity to move, as the culture and other situation is not vary within the nearby communities and coping in the new places is notalso challenging, as we have been observing these. However, if the family is from any religious minority group in that situation it needs to be kept in mind that they must be relocated in the same religious minority group. So in the planned relocation process we will consider this lesson/experience that community (well-off) already practicing.

During working closely with the climate forced displaced people for developing a planned relocation project, YPSA realizes that it is also importance to address the basic needs of thousands of climateforced displaced people who are living in the temporary settings side by side the planned relocation of selected households. Hence this project is based on the both requirement of displaced people such as address the basic needs of displaced people considering their vulnerability as well as make them aware to claim their rights through various interventions and finally planned relocation of people who are willing to move along with the local and national level advocacy with the relevant authorities for policy framework to address their rights in holistic approach. They need to be mobilized and built capacity so that they can claim their rights and negotiate for their needs. Relevant stakeholders will be involved through different advocacy events for acknowledging the facts and playing positive role in favor of displaced people. This project will follow the strategies and plans already developed in last year for engaging and outreaching community, advocacy with relevant stakeholders as well as risk management of project. Lesson from the self relocation of well off households displaced by climate caused disaster and learning of its previous relocation intervention, YPSA plans to bring the selected households under the planned relocation with the basic facilities link them with local level government and other services.

YPSA, with the support of Displacement Solutions (DS), has been implementing the “Bangladesh Housing, Land and Property Rights Initiative” to raise the profile of the climate displacement issue in the country since 2011. Through the Initiative, YPSA has developed an in-depth understanding on climate forced displacement including fact-finding and research visits to vulnerable hotspots of climate forced displacement and advocacy campaign with local, regional and national government officials on the need to respond to climate displacement in a rights-based framework.

In 2016, the Initiative carried out a pilot project under the name ‘One House, One Family at a time’. Rehabilitated four displaced families from Sandwip Island provided durable shelters with land title and ensured livelihood, drinking water facilities and other necessary support for living in the sustainable life in the new place. YPSA also procured, in 2018, more land plots to relocate five more families from Sandwip Island to Sitakundupazila and started process to construct the houses for the selected families. YPSA also experienced in rehabilitation program after different disasters with emergency Shelter Kits for repairing 2000 families’ houses and construction of tin-shed new houses for 89 families and constructed 50 resilience shelters for the cyclone affected people in Chattogram and Cox’sBazar.

As part of inclusive proposal development on planned relocation of highly vulnerable climate forced displaced families in south-eastern coast of Bangladesh, YPSA, with the support of CJRF ( Climate Justice Resilience Fund),has already developed different strategies and plans such as Community Engagement Strategy; Advocacy Strategy; Communication and Outreach Strategy; Risk Management Framework; and Implementation plans, which will be integral part during execution of proposed project. At present YPSA with the support of CJRF have been implementing some activities with the climate forced displaced people living in the temporary settings considering their basic needs and rights. These have been very much effective in the local level to meet their needs and empowering them to raise the voices to claiming their rights. These activities will also be expanded in the proposed project to get final result.

Overall Objective of this project

To fulfill the rights and needs of climate forced displaced people living in the vulnerable condition in the South-Eastern Coast of Bangladesh

Specific Objective

  1. To build capacity of climate forced displaced people for claiming their rights and for livelihood security.
  2. To do advocacy with the relevant stakeholders for rights based solutions to the climate forced displacement.
  3. To provide need-based support to climate forced displaced people to be adaptive with changing situation and leading better life.
  4. To ensure shelter with basic facilities for displaced people in the safer location

Project Location

The project will cover two coastal upazilas (sub-districts) namely Banskhali of Chattogram district and KutubdiaIsland of Cox’s Bazaar district.

Target People

  • The proposed project will mobilize approximately 2,500 climate forced displaced households for raising awareness and building capacity to claim their rights,
  • The project will directly address the basic needs (housing materials needs, safe water and sanitation and alternative livelihood) of 250 (1500 people) most vulnerable climate forced displaced households (living in the temporary setting after displacement) to be adaptive with changing situation in the two sub-districts (Banskhali and Kutubdia).
  • The project will ensure safer shelter (two bed rooms with one corridor in brick structures) including alternative livelihood and other basic facilities for 8climate forced displaced households (48 people) through planned relocation.
  • The project will also target 300 relevant stakeholders as part of advocacy for playing their positive role towards the rights and needs of displaced people.

Duration of the project: 24 Months (from Dec’19 to Nov’21)

Expected Result

  • Climate forced displaced households are aware to cope with the situation.
  • Climate forced displaced households are aware about their rights and known to the existing GO/NGOs services for them.
  • Relevant stakeholders are playing their positive role toward the rights and needs of displaced people
  • Climate forced displaced households (with special focus to women headed family) are living better life with basic households needs.
  • Climate forced displaced households (with special focus to women headed family) living in the safer places with dignity and basic facilities.
  • Climate forced displaced households having safe water and sanitary facilities.
  • Income of climate forced displaced households (particularly women) increased through alternative livelihood option.


Strategy to influence of project beyond the direct beneficiaries

The project intends to fulfill the rights and needs of climate forced displaced people living in the vulnerable condition in the South-Eastern Coast of Bangladesh and hence plans for various interventions for specific outcomes. It is obvious that specific number of target people will directly be benefited by these outcomes. However, there is impact of this project to the other displaced people as well, since the group of people already been capacitated for claiming the rights from the existing government services and on the other hand duty bearers also playing the proper role toward the rights of displaced people.

YPSA has association with the like-minded organizations working with the climate forced displacement as well as different networks and forums focused on climate change and disaster management. YPSA will utilize these networks for the national level advocacy by influencing the decision as a member. Besides, YPSA will be participating in the different programs of like mined organizations dealing with the issue to contribute this program. These engagements of YPSA will add value to promote the rights of climate forced displaced people in Bangladesh, which will contribute to the goal of project as well.

The lessons of the project will be disseminated in the national roundtable, where relevant government officials expected to be present along with other stakeholders to draw the attention to relevant policy framework for more future initiatives for thousands of climate forced displaced people. Besides, a report of best practices to deal with the climate forced displaced people as durable solutions will also be shared with the relevant stakeholders including the different organizations working in this field and relevant networks, forum and events (national and international) as an example/model so that others can come forward. Which ultimately contribute to ensuring the rights and needs of climate forced displaced people.