Jamuna River Sandbar (Char) People’s Development Project: A and B

These projects are located in the Kajipur sub-district of Sirajganj district in central Bangladesh. Kajipur is a 'char' - a sandbar island - in the middle of the Jamuna River. Project A has been operating for 9 years, and Project B for 6 years, working primarily with Bengali communities and pockets of minority groups. 

  • Opportunities: Savings group establishment. Small demountable primary schools.
  • Challenges: Location of the work on the sandbar, which can be completely flooded. Poor infrastructure.
  • Achievements: Project A has 29 groups with 564 members and 400 school students. Of these groups, 22 are sustainable, requiring very little input from Symbiosis staff. Project B has 26 groups and 450 school children, with 17 sustainable groups.



Sultana's Story 

Sultana and her husband Rasel live on an island in the Jamuna River. Rasel earns the low and unreliable income of a day labourer and the family were used to struggling to survive. Through Sultana’s Symbiosis group she received training on kitchen gardening, and decided to put the knowledge to use on a small piece of land the couple owned near their house. Symbiosis supplied Sultana with the seeds she sowed and her care for them was rewarded with a large crop of pumpkins some months later. Sultana used some in her family’s diet, gave some to her neighbours and sold the rest in the market, earning 4500Tk. ($60). She collected another 2000Tk. worth of seeds and continued gardening. Sultana’s profitable garden has become the talk of her community and has inspired many of her peers.