42248-012: Second Chittagong Hill Tracts Rural Development Project (CHTRDP II)
Project Data Sheet (PDS): Details
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The TA will support ADB?s Country Strategy and Program for Bangladesh, 2006?2010 by contributing to: (i) helping the rural poor, especially women and excluded groups by expanding their access to markets, and services and increasing their livelihood options; (ii) community participation (especially by women and disadvantaged groups) in designing and implementing projects; (iii) progressive devolution of responsibilities to local governments and communities to build capacity to plan, operate and maintain social and economic services; (iv) intensification, diversification, and value addition of crops to boost agricultural productivity and improve food security; and (v) strengthening farm-to-market linkages to raise rural incomes. The TA is also consistent with the Government of Bangladesh's (GOB) National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction goal of accelerated poverty reduction by supporting rural development, participation and empowerment of the poor, especially women, and other marginalized groups such as indigenous people and human development of the poor.
The impact of the TA will be improved rural livelihoods to reduce poverty amongst rural population of CHT.
Description of Outcome
The outcome of the TA will be a project proposal suitable for ADB financing that will: (i) improve rural infrastructure and sustainable natural resources management and monitoring; (ii) increase rural incomes, including those of remote rural women and disadvantaged groups, through increased economic opportunities and activities; and (iii) support institutional strengthening of MOCHTA and CHTRC to plan, implement and monitor sustainable rural development in CHT.
Progress Towards Outcome
A draft final report detailing the design for the Second Chittagong Hill tracts Rural Development Project has been submitted by TA Consultants for ADB consideration. Consultations were held with various stakeholders, and detailed feasibility studies were undertaken in six representative subproject sites. Findings from these as well as from comprehensive reviews of releveant aspects of the first Chittagong Hill Tracts project were included to guide the second project's design.
Description of Project Outputs
Output 1: Institutional Strengthening, Output 2: Participatory Community Development, Output 3: Integrated Rural Infrastructure, Output 4: Project Investment Plan
Involuntary Resettlement: B
Indigenous Peoples: A
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is a geographically-isolated and ethno-culturally unique area situated in south-east Bangladesh, bordering India and Myanmar. The largest natural resource in the CHT is forest, about 325,000 ha (about 25% of the total CHT area) is exclusively controlled by the Department of Forest. Shifting cultivation (jhum) is the dominant farming system in the lower and upper hills of CHT. Pressures on land during the past two to three decades have forced jhum farmers to reduce the fallow period. As a result of land degradation caused by reduced fallow periods, deforestation, loss of topsoil, and increased water runoff has serious implications on food security and environmental sustainability. There is an observed deterioration of spring flows over the past several years. The main causes are: (i) widespread degradation of natural dense forests which have drastically reduced in recent years. Between 1989 and 2003, an estimated 170,000 ha of dense forest, (approximately 50% of total forest area) was lost in CHT ; (ii) large changes in land use; and (iii) changes in climate including reduced precipitation. The area s population comprises indigenous peoples (IP) from 11 distinct ethnic groups and Bengalis most of who were more settled under a Government of Bangladesh (GOB)-sponsored trans-migration program. According to the most recent Population Census (undertaken in 1991) of CHT, the population was 974,447 of which about half were indigenous people and the rest Bengali inhabitants. The three largest IP groups are Chakma, Marma and Tripura. The incidence of hard-core poor is 44% for the IPs, which is 13% higher than for non IPs, average annual household income is 30% lower than that of the national average (of Tk84,000). Less than half of the population has access to tube well water and to potable water. Water resources are generally scarce, on average 0.5 kilometer (km) from villages and of variable quality. Literacy rates are significantly lower than the rest of the country (60% of woman are illiterate). In addition, CHT also has the lowest access to electricity at 13%. Communities are remote and mainly dependednt on shifting cultivation.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation and Consultation
During Project Design
Consultations with government officials and intended beneficiaries were undertaken under the Chittagong Hill Tracts Study for Potential for Integrated Small-Water Resources.
During Project Implementation
Rigorous field consultations were undertaken for socio-economic baseline surveys, participatory rural appraisals, feasibility studies and social and environmental safeguards outputs. A highly consultative approach was adopted for design development through regular meetings and field interactions with a range of stakeholders including CHT Regional Council, Circle Chiefs, Hill District Councils, Local Government representatives and beneficiary communities. A socio economic baseline survey was undertaken in 600 villages and focus group discussions to gain a better insight to stakeholder needs.
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