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16 October, 2019 10:39:40 AM


Stratetegies for disaster reduction

Due to global warming and climate change, the prevalence and magnitude of the disasters are increasing
Stratetegies for disaster reduction

Bangladesh is a highly disaster-prone country. Particularly in the context of widespread poverty, disaster often assume great proportion; both risk and vulnerability to various disasters are extensive.

Some disasters, such as floods and drought, are annual and cause national loss at a regular frequency. Others, such as cyclones and earthquakes, wait in the offing, and it is not hard to imagine the destruction that could occur in a service earthquake in the rapidly growing and densely populated urban areas. There is thus an important need for disaster management in this context where disasters are a part of life.
Disaster management is concerned with preparing for ameliorating the impact and reducing the risk of disasters. It involves both the emergency operation in a disaster as well as rebuilding the society in aftermath of disaster. However, it is found in analyzing the concept of disaster that managing disaster is concerned with managing vulnerabilities that include five basic phases: prevention, preparedness, emergency response, recovery and mitigation. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters in the world. Although it is not possible to prevent the incidence of natural disasters but the extent of damages caused by disasters could be minimized by taking apropriate measures in advance. Therefore, the government of Bangladesh has adopted disaster management plans and programes with special emphasis on community participation.

The government of Bangladesh prepared a draft national disaster management policy in 2008 and adopted the national plan for disaster management 2010-2015 in 2010. The policy and plans have been developed in tune with the GoB and MOFDM mission to reduce the vulnerability of the people, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, by bringing a paradigmship in disaster management from traditional response and relief practice to a more comprehensive risk reduction culture. Though the GoB has prepared national plan for disaster management in 2010, disaster management activities have been being operated for long days under different projects. However, one of the strategic goals of the national plan for disaster management 2010-2015 is to empower at risk community through advocacy and capacity building where community participation is necessary to make it a success. The Ministry of Disaster Mangement and Relief being the focal ministry for disaster risk reduction and emergency management is playing the leading role in disaster risk reduction and emergency management planning.

Bangladesh is prone to disaster due to geological reasons. Cyclone flooding is the occidental event of the region. At present, Bangladesh is also quite efficient in handling various types of casualties. However, this skill test has to pay for a year. We do not know how to avoid seasonal cyclones, earthquakes and in some cases floods. In these cases, integrated disaster management is very important. From the responsibilities and functions of the National disaster Response Coordination Group, there are five important procedures. In order to ensure the supply or use of urgently needed products or assets in the event of disaster or post-disaster situations, it is recommended to seek approval from the Cabinet Committee on Econonic Affairs for one or more years in advance of disaster. It can be said that a framework for integrated disaster management is made in one sense. It is especially important to have a thorough account of how each year’s disaster or disaster management is able to play a role properly and to what extent it is lacking.

We are very helpless about natural disasters. For example, we do not have the power to prevent earthquakes of tides. But through proper ability, rescue and disaster relief activities, losses can be brought to an enduring level. Here are some suggested steps to reduce the likelihood of a natural disaster and to bring it to an enduring level of harm. We will have to take the program of doing Shallow River dredging. Dams should be built along the river at risk.There should be wide spread dissemination of potential disaster. It is necessary to take planning to address disaters properly and roads shold be strengthen. People need to be made aware to deal with disasters. After the disaster, relief must reach the victims quickly. Moreover, necssary shelter centres should be constructed.

If the above measures are taken, it is expected that the amount of damage to the disaster will be greately reduced. For this, there must be a plan to address the national disater. With that, it will take advance preparation. Every year, Bangladesh has to fight against the major disasters. Therefore, it is imperative to have proper disaster prevention system in this country. Bangladesh has already taken several steps. Bangladesh National Environmen Management Action Plan has been adopter in 1995.  It sets out the Disaster Management Policy. To prevent floods through the river regime, a series of irrigation projects have been adopted. Disaster management program has been emphasized in coastal cyclone rehabilitation project. Moreover, a number of coastal shelters have been built and coastal forestry project has been adopted by Disaster Management Bureau. Widespread dissemination is being done to raise awareness among the people to minimize disaster damage.

Due to global warming and climate change, the prevalence and magnitude of the disasters are increasing steadily. Bangladesh is at risk of earthquake due to geographical location. The earthquake caused massive damage to homes and infrustructure, including life-threatening injuries. Therefore, it is very important to organize earthquake trials in various institutes, including regular campaign in electronic print media to increase public awareness to deal with the earthquake. The government has purchased state of art rescue equipement through special projects, including implementation of building codes, identifying risky buildings. Training of city volunteers is also being implemented in the face of earthquake. Voluntary and local public participation culture has established Bangladesh as a role model of disaster management throughout the world in dealing with disaster. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been honored with the UN “Champion of the Earth Award” for her contribution to counteracting the adverse effects of climate change, which is very glorious for the country.

Natural disasters threaten our normal pattern of life, our progress and destroy our socio-economic development, representing a considerable challenge for the global community. These consequences of disasters have convinced the national government, NGOs and international community, that disaseter prevention and mitigation are the essential components of any range of sustainable development projects and politics. Finally, to address the need for capacity building training and resource mobilization should be strengthened. Unless the natural disaster is considered as an important national issue by both local and international level in a coordinated way, the hope for mitigation and prevention could remain unstable and fragile. Historical evidencess show that the trend of disasters happening in our country is increasing. The phenomenon seriously hampered our development. Bangladesh is committed to face the challenges of these disasters.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk awareness and disaster reduction. The day celebrates how people and communities around the world or reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. This year the day focuses on reducing disaster economic losses in relation to global GDP by 2030. Youths being the largest community of society may be extended up to the remotest areas must stand with highest possible potentiality to prepare and involve the community in facing the challenges of disasters. Youths believe, ‘Danger or Disaster, we face together’. If youths are pro-active and included under a comprehensive action plan, the message of the year will come into reality and vision of our nation’s advancement will be truly materialized.

The writer is a regular contributor to The Independent


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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