Research: Demand for CSR among Millennials

Jelepara’s Transformation: Community-Led Development and Climate Resilience

The fishing village of Dokkhin Mohra, also known as Kalurghat Fisherman's Village (Jelepara), has seen a dramatic transformation. Frequent flooding from the Karnaphuli River once threatened its 1,500 residents, but the National Urban Poverty Reduction Programme (NUPRP), also known as the Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP), has provided a lifeline.

Traditionally a community of fishermen, Jelepara’s younger generation is shifting careers due to dwindling fish stocks caused by pollution and climate change. Thanks to a boundary wall built by the villagers with LIUPCP support, the village has avoided flooding since last year.

Launched in 2018, LIUPCP aims to reduce urban poverty and promote climate-smart urban development. It has reached nearly four million urban poor across 19 cities and towns, enhancing community empowerment, affordable housing, adaptive livelihoods, and climate-resilient infrastructure.

The program’s activities include constructing roads, dams, drains, toilets, and street lights, as well as tree planting, housing, and educational and nutritional support. These efforts uplift urban poor communities affected by climate change.

In Chittagong, LIUPCP has helped 8,691 people start small businesses, provided educational assistance to 6,971 individuals, and supported 4,724 pregnant women and mothers with nutrition. The project has also built 767 toilets, 13 kilometers of footpaths, 71 deep tube wells, and nearly four kilometers of drains.

Community Development Committees (CDCs) are crucial to LIUPCP’s success. Shilpi Dash, leader of the Mohra Village CDC, noted improvements in quality of life, infrastructure, child marriage prevention, housing, and nutrition for mothers.

In Cox’s Bazar, the Samity Para CDC, home to 1,050 residents, demonstrates the project’s impact. Vulnerable to natural hazards, the community has seen significant socio-economic improvements and infrastructure development through LIUPCP.

In Cox’s Bazar, 250 people received business assistance, 190 were supported educationally to prevent child marriage, and 800 pregnant women and mothers benefited from nutritional aid. Additionally, 29 families improved their circumstances through joint business initiatives supported by the project.

At a recent workshop in Dhaka, leaders praised LIUPCP’s achievements. Sonali Dayaratne of UNDP Bangladesh lauded the program’s community-led solutions. LGRD Minister Tazul Islam MP expressed a vision for a developed Bangladesh by 2041, ensuring no one is left behind. Stefan Liller of UNDP Bangladesh and Matt Cannell of the British High Commission emphasized the program’s success in improving urban poor livelihoods and living conditions.

Secretary Muhammad Ibrahim of the LGRD Ministry expressed gratitude for the UK’s and UNDP’s support, looking forward to continued collaboration.

LIUPCP’s urban climate resilience initiative showcases effective partnerships and community-driven development. It has protected vulnerable communities from climate impacts and empowered them with sustainable livelihoods and improved living conditions, ensuring inclusive and resilient growth for Bangladesh.

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