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‘South Kaibarta para’ : Rewritten Story of a Riverine Fishing Village on the bank of Karnaphuli, Bangladesh


Rivers are integral parts of Bangladesh & Bangladeshi peoples’ life and ‘Kaibartas’ are the traditional fishermen of Bangladesh by generations who live entirely on fishing. The thesis mainly focuses on the sustainable development of a small fishing village named ‘South-Kaibarta Para’ located on the riverbank of Karnaphuli, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Because of a government initiated embankment-cum -road, the age-old village of the riverine fishing community has to go through some significant changes. Concerning the affected fishing community, the project deals with overall master planning, designing individual homestead with built forms in order to interpret a ‘Self-sufficient Fishing Village’ where their traditional community lifestyle is preserved.

Bangladesh is criss-crossed by more than 700 rivers including their tributaries. In other Words, rivers formed this country as a Delta. Delta has been contributing to spring life to this land with agriculture, food, transportation, and tranquil beauty, creating opportunity for different occupations specially fishing. Kaibartas' are traditional fishermen by generations and live on fishing only. They have no other occupational skill than fishing and strangely they are very much reluctant also to move into other professions even though fish resources are sharply declining and also under the threat of over fishing by other communities. Many a fishermen are becoming jobless and unemployed. The thesis mainly focuses on the sustainable development of the project area which is a small fishing village named ‘South Kaibarta para’ located on the river bank of Karnaphuli in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here sustainability is conformed through considering all aspects of human life namely social, economic and physical sectors of a fishermen community. There is another significant issue. Because of the proposed 300 feet wide embankment & highway over the village adjacent to the river by the government, the age-old village of fishing community on the riverbank has to go through a ‘Resettlement Action Plan’ for the entire village.

THE DESIGN APPROACH: 1.Identify the strengths & vulnerabilities of this 150 years old Fishing village at present. 2.Analyzing the present community- life pattern and cross checking the findings and propose design as well as planning solutions. 3.Different household solutions & options have been proposed both in homestead & community level for the economical sustainability even in off-seasons. 4.The primary requirements of public amenities for a village have been also proposed thinking about the future possibilities. 5.An in-depth cost benefit analysis is also made addressing the affordability of the fishermen community. 6.The whole scheme would incrementally grow horizontally and vertically. All the possible details, growth restrictions are specified in the project and they are very tolerance to unskilled labor errors. 7.A major concern was to preserve the traditional lifestyle of the fishermen community with the river even after losing the direct connection. 8.Proposed solutions & design guidelines are based upon Community Participation along with Government Interventions. Overall,the main goal of this research it to develop possible architectural and planning solutions which are sustainable and affordable for this special community and also pertain their traditional lifestyle.

The Board:
‘South Kaibarta para’ : Rewritten Story of a Riverine Fishing Village on the bank of Karnaphuli, Bangladesh Board
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