Climate change trust fund’s money is being spent on building a retaining wall, repairing road
The Bangladesh Climate Change Trust usually grants fund to combat climate change, innovate adaptation methods and spend the amount on affected people.
However, the Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI), headquartered in Chittagong, is using the money for building a retaining wall, repairing a road and renovating a school field under a project to develop infrastructures of BFRI headquarter in the port city's Sholashahar.
But environment and climate experts said if the money is not used in a proper manner, the foreign donors might not allocate budget in this sector.
As a result, tackling effects of climate change would be tougher in the days to come, they warned.
The said the project was taken in 2018 with a target of spending Tk4 crore. So far, Tk1.5 crore has been disbursed.
The two-year-long project will complete in June 2020.
To see the real progress, this reporter went to BFRI on Tuesday.
During his visit, he saw the road inside was being filled with bricks and brick chips.
In front of the administrative building, there was a sidewall, which was undergoing beautification work.
In addition, one retaining wall had been erected in the residential area on BFRI premises. Repairing work of BFRI Higher Secondary School field was also in progress.
Mohammad AL Amin, a professor of the Forest and Environment Science Institute at the University of Chittagong, told The Business Standard that an institution like BFRI normally addresses climate change-related issues including mitigation, adaptation with the Climate Trust Fund's money.
But renovating road and building retaining wall are not related with the purpose of giving the money, he added.
As the project is yet to be completed, there is an opportunity that allocation will come in future, he said.
Therefore, he hoped that climate adaptation and mitigation related research will get proper allocation in future.
Abdur Rahman Rana, a climate expert, said that climate fund's money is being misused in this regard.
This type of work contradicts with the strategies of tackling climate change, he added.
He said the project does not include research work. That is why, spending climate fund's money in such sector would be irrational.
However, former BFRI Director Dr Khurshid Akhter said the project is related to addressing climate change issues.
She said the city will be affected if no retaining wall is erected to prevent erosion.
So this project has been taken to tackle climate change-related issues, she added.
The director, however, declined to comment on school field renovation, beautification and other works.
Generally, Chittagong City Corporation and Chittagong Development Authority do the works on waterlogging and road repairing.
Dipak Kanti Paul, managing director of the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust, visited the project area on April 9.
Contacted, Dipak on Wednesday said no project was approved for retaining wall, beautification or road repairing.
But the institute got the project because of their involvement in environment and research-related activities, he added.