Bangladesh: A role model in disaster management
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh has become a role model in disaster management. She made the comment while addressing an event to mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Sunday. In the same event, the PM also inaugurated 100 multipurpose cyclone shelters in 14 coastal districts, as well as 11,604 disaster resilient houses across the country.
However, Bangladesh is recognized as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Government's declaration of 13 types of specified natural calamities points at how vulnerable the country is. Bangladesh suffers from human resources and enormous material resources losses due to the various kinds of disaster every year. Fortunately, the country has achieved remarkable success in managing natural disasters for well over a decade, especially on the grounds of disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
It is worth mentioning that casualties from natural disasters have sharply declined in the country. We have successfully dealt with several disasters in the first two decades of the 21st century. These successes were possible to achieve because of different policies undertaken by the government: improvement in early warning system, dissemination of information, establishment of cyclone shelters and active engagement of dedicated Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) volunteers for preparedness and response activities.
Furthermore, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Bangladesh is advancing towards achieving national resilience against natural calamities and preventing environmental disasters and global warming to contribute to global environment. Natural calamities are considered direct threat to the viable economic development and overall national progress under SDGs.
As a continual process to tackle natural disasters, government allocated Tk100 crore to build houses for affected victims of river erosion. At the same time initiatives to establish the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for effective and timely response and smooth coordination of any emergency operation are being implemented. We expect to see the proper implementation of these policies to ensure the safety of the whole nation and resources.
Finally, since it is not possible to prevent natural disasters completely, through collective effort we can reduce the magnitude of damages by taking prudent initiatives. In order to ensure proper damage control, countrywide collective preparation is a must. Collaboration and cooperation among nations--especially the neighbouring countries would also enable countries to tackle natural disasters together.
We also hope that the government will open all doors to work together with other countries in managing natural disasters.