KILLA’s mission to quell rural people’s sufferings: Georgina Arefin Edita
Nowadays women are showing their innovative prowess like the men do in the society. Breaking all the social ritual they have come up with bang and all the time have been proving that sometimes they are way ahead of their male counterpart. Georgina Arefin Edita is one of them as she showed the innovation in a way that hardly anyone could do. She has recently shared his views with The Daily Observer in a personal interview.
Tell us something about yourself and your organization?I am currently working as Leading Consultant in the Hazard and Risk Modelling Department of Knowledge, Information & Learning for Local Adaptation (KILLA). I've completed my B.S and M.S from Department of Disaster Science and Management, University of Dhaka. I've been working in different organization since my student life in the field of community development projects and also conducted research on Flood and cyclone hazard modelling using Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing. I'm working in Knowledge, Information & Learning for Local Adaptation (KILLA) for more than two years now. Previously, I've worked under UNDP and Oxfam as well.
The story of Knowledge, Information & Learning for Local Adaptation (KILLA) is interesting. We some friend while working on our theses, had interaction with rural community. From that time, people living in the unprivileged areas and their problems got us thinking about how we can contribute to minimize their sufferings. So, we thought to start Knowledge, Information & Learning for Local Adaptation (KILLA) to build a resilient community who can round back disasters and also act accordingly when necessary. This is an independent Asian consulting organization with a strong focus on the Climate and Disaster. Our consultants use indigenous knowledge and expertise along with new techniques to create sustainable solutions for a resilient future. We have different working areas like climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, agro-tech, digi-tech, GIS & RS, Risk & Vulnerability Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment/Social Impact Assessment, Community Risk Assessment and so on.
What inspired to set up this platform?
As I've mentioned before that the rural community and their sufferings got us thinking of what we can do for them or how can we take part in the minimization of their loss so these thoughts triggered us to set something up like KILLA so that we can contribute to create a knowledge based, technologically sound and stronger community for a better and robust tomorrow. Also, some people always inspired us, mentored us to develop our skill and capacity and encouraged us enough to create this plinth.
How your community is helping disaster affected people?
We have conducted several studies till now focusing on climate change, disaster risk management, hazard mapping, community risk assessment and more. We provide scientific and environment friendly options to our client so they can implement them for the betterment of community. We study to identify vulnerable community first and then we identify what's bothering them then we study about the geography of the area and suggest actions accordingly. For example, if any community is reported to be flood victims then we study the inundation extend of flood of that area and the damage and loss that community faced, then we provide options how the loss and fatalities could be minimized for that community. And also, how they can transfer their physical or economic risk for such events in future.
What's your organisation working procedure?
Identifying the right solution is all about understanding the problem. We deliver unique and rigorous research that helps create knowledge, ensures sustainable development and protects the nature. We identify indigenous knowledge that can work at regional scale and introduce these to global forums. We are strategic collaborators, innovators, knowledge brokers and navigator of change. Our strategy outlines how we aim to grow in scope, reach and reputation. We always prioritize to the demand of clients considering their budget and also our solutions focus on not to disturb the environmental balance.
KILLA is led by a successful team with experience in the field of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management. Also, has experience to work with National & International Development Partners, NGOs, and INGOs etc. Moreover, has proficiency over working with different tools and techniques.
Recently your organisation is doing some project, how it's helping local community?
We are trying to develop an Integrated Disaster Risk Management System (IDRMS) to upgrade the community's resilience and capacity to fight back hazards mayhem. The first experimental project going on is related to cyclonic hazard which is likely to be conducted in Dhalghata union of Maheshkhali Upazila. We are trying to create a web application for better preparation to contest hazardous situation smartly. As Bangladesh has already shifted from reactive phase to proactive phase against hazards so the already know what to do when they get a signal for an upcoming cyclone or storm surge associated with it. But after the completion of this project the people would be able to know when to do what as timing is a very important thing. We are trying to organize the whole emergency situation system for a better response during any emergency. But its not limited to that only, it can be used before to study risk, vulnerability and understand the hazard better. It can be used further in recovery period also; to build up both structural and non-structural resilience.
What's the future plan of your organisation?
Our future plan is actually to bring everyone under resilience. As our geographical location is something we cannot change. Thus, we cannot escape hydrometeorological hazards like cyclone, storm surge, flood, flash flood, heavy rainfall, but we surely can build up a resilient community to minimize the loss during these hazards and also ensure economic stability during disaster aftermath. Our focus is to give technologically sound but cost-effective solutions to the problems so people can move from the conventional ideas of resilience to the modern ones.
What's the mission of your organisation?
KILLA is a globally leading organization which provides productive and technologically sustainable solutions for reshaping today and constructing a resilient tomorrow and our target is to continue with it.
How your organisation is helping rural woman?
Currently we are not working any gender related projects but our assessment and research ensure gender balanced safety techniques. As for example, while we were conducting a social survey in Shyamnagarupazila of Satkhira district we designed our study with a special section dedicated to women where it was ensured to collect information about women safety at house and work, vulnerability, biasness, their economic dependence, social barriers and so on. So that we can give special attention to their social and economic condition to make them resilient against such difficulties.
How your organisation will help making Bangladesh a developed country?
I guess some questions share common information so I would like to avoid repetition by skipping some of these questions. As for example, you can get answer to this question by collaborating the answers from ques no 8 and 10.