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31ST MARCH, 2015

Digging for Water in Bangladesh

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Like many other businesses in Bangladesh, Camellia-owned Duncan Brothers are experiencing significant climate change. An extended dry season and fewer rains in the wet season have had a profound effect on how they manage their tea gardens.

Wanting to take a long-term and environmentally friendly approach to developing sustainable water supplies – and not wanting to deplete ground water - Duncan Brothers initially created two large dams on their tea gardens at Shumshernugger and Lungla, as well as several smaller dams. This initiative proved successful, preserving enough rain water for irrigation in the dry season.

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This spurred them on to do more – and Duncan Brothers engaged one of the country’s leading organisations, the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET), to support their efforts. Working together, they created a long-term irrigation plan for their tea gardens, identifying the most suitable sites for potential reservoirs and dams to harvest rain water. Based on a complex selection criteria for the best locations, phase one saw Duncan Brothers excavate three reservoirs during the 2014 dry season. Seeing the benefits, in 2015 they accelerated their efforts by deploying external digging operators at their two prime gardens, Amo and Shumshernugger.  They’re also benefiting from the large volume of excavated soil which carried to areas which can be later reclaimed for plantation.

Imran Ahmed, MD of Duncan Brothers, commented,

“We are delighted with the progress we’ve made in a very short period of time to create a sustainable supply of water for our gardens. While it will take several years to complete this initiative across the whole Duncan Brothers’ estate in Bangladesh, we are committed to a long-term improvement programme.” 

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