Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated two Mujib Killas in Patuakhali’s Kalapara upazila through video conference on Sunday. At least 500 people and 500 cattle can take shelter in each Mujib Killa.
Kalapara Upazila Project Implementation Officer (PIO) Humayun Kabir said that Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief is running a project titled ‘Construction, Renovation, and Development of Mujib Killa’ and under the project, initiatives have been taken to build, renovate and develop 20 Mujib Killas in Kalapara upazila.
Under the direction of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, many earthen Killas were built in the coastal areas of the country in the post-independence era, including Patuakhali, to protect lives and property from cyclones and floods. Since then they have been known as ‘Mujib Killa’.
But those Killas built were damaged due to lack of maintenance, the PIO said.
Two of these Killas were inaugurated on Sunday after completion of all construction work. Work on remaining Killas is underway, he added.
Md Asaduzzaman Khan, assistant director of Kalapara Red Crescent Society, said that the buildings have been constructed at a height of about 11 feet above normal agricultural land.
In these buildings, people and cattle can take shelter during disasters as each building has 8 toilets, 2 kitchens, bathing facilities, drinking water, and solar power system, he added.
According to the concerned department, ‘Mujib Killas’ are being constructed in two categories– A and B. The total area of one-storeyed infrastructure in A category is 42,200 sqft and B category is 50,400 sq ft.
Cattle sheds of 80 feet in length and 50 feet in width have been set up in both the categories for keeping cattle. Apart from that, there is a designated place for women on one side and men on the other side of the shelter.
The construction cost of A category Killa is Tk 2,01,20,000 and the cost of B category is Tk 2,01,83,000.
Around 3,500 people live in Kalapara upazila’s Nowapara and East Tiakhali villages.
Three people from Nowapara village, including a child, were killed during cyclone Sidr in 2007 when there was no shelter.
A resident of the village, Mohiuddin Talukder said, “We don’t need to worry any more during storms and floods as we can take shelter in these new Killas.”