April 29 Cyclone Recalled
Thousands yet to get govt support
Published : Monday, 30 April, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 247
Speakers at a human chain recalled memories of the devastating cyclone of April 29 in 1991, and claimed there are still thousands of cyclone affected people in coastal areas who are yet to get government support even after 27 years. They also urged the government and international development partners to take necessary steps to rehabilitate the affected people immediately. At the same time, they also urged the authorities concerned to implement the project through local non-government organizations and agencies.
They made the call on Sunday while holding the human chain programme in front of the National Press Club. A group of 30 rights based civil society organizations, NGOs and disaster networks jointly organized the programme to recall the memories and creating awareness. Mustafa Kamal Akand of COAST Trust moderated programme while its Shawkat Ali Tutul read out the position paper and the demands. Among others Abdul Kader Hazari of ARPAN, Subal Sarker of Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Zayed Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Tajul Islam of Disaster Forum and Laila Kabir of BDPC also spoke at the occasion.
Other bodies joined the programme, are - Online Knowledge Society, Alok Jatra, UDDIPAN, Udayan Bangladesh, Unnayan Dhara Trust, SDO, Women Farmers Association, National Workers Alliance, Dak Diye Zai, Dwip Unnayan Sangstha, PSI, Palli-Bangla Unnayan Sangstha, SANGRAM, Workers Federation, Farm Labour Federation, Muktir Dak, Labor Resources Center, CDP, Sankalpo Trust, Nature Campaign, NIRAPAD, Prantojon and DACOP. The speakers demanded prioritizing disaster and climate-resilient infrastructure, prevention of intrusion of saline water to the coastal areas to save the agricultural through construction of permanent embankment in coastal belt.
They also asked UN agencies and INGOs to keep off from direct project operation in Bangladesh rather to provide space to local NGOs leadership followed by their commitments in WHS summit 2016 and Grand Bargain. Meanwhile in Chittagong, different socio-cultural and political organisations arranged a daylong programme remembering the trail of destruction and loss of lives and property in the south-eastern part of the country caused by the devastating cyclone.
The organisations which arranged separate discussions to remember the day are Upakulio Unnyan Foundation, Sandwip Association, NGO Jote, Coast Trust Association, Patenga Anti-Social Resistance Committee, World Vision Bangladesh, YPSA Chittagong City, Anwara Samity on Chittagong, Jattri Kolyan Samity and Kutubdia Samity. Special prayers for the deceased, feeding the destitute, holding of milad, remembrance meeting, photo exhibition, lighting of candles in memory of those who were killed were the highlights of the day's programmes.
Nearly two lakh people of the coastal belt mostly from Banskhali, Anwara, Chakaria, Sandwip and Kutubdia died and millions of people were rendered homeless on this day in 1991. Chittagong Mohhanagar Awami League organised a discussion meeting and special prayer at Darul Fazal Market, remembering the day with its President ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury in the chair.