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Bangladesh now a role model in disaster management

Digital flood forecasting system inaugurated

Published : 25 Oct 2021 10:14 PM | Updated : 26 Oct 2021 06:42 PM

The concerned government agency has the technology to give advance warning on floods at least 3 days before, which will significantly help to reduce damages.

As a result, the country has become a role model in the world in advance warning for natural calamities.  

"Bangladesh is now a role model in the world in disaster management under the leadership of Prime Minister. Recently, when the Teesta water rose, I gave a forecast message to three thousand local people using a digital system. The timely steps taken by the Prime Minister to tackle the disaster, economic development in Bangladesh has remained dynamic," said state minister for Water Resources Colonel (retd) Zahid Farooq. 

He said this while addressing at the inaugural function titled - 'Digital Flood Forecasting and Warning System,' at Pani Bhaban in the capital on Monday.

Mentioning the benefits of Digital Bangladesh, the State Minister further said, “Today's Digital Bangladesh is a real reflection of the information technology knowledge of Sajeeb Wazed Joy, ICT Advisor to Prime Minister. Digital Bangladesh is a supporting force in the implementation of Delta Plan-2100." 

Speaking as the special guest, Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, said, “BNP used to comment on Digital Bangladesh. But today we are sending accurate forecasts in all areas including Haor (wetland) using digital system. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government is playing the role of a teacher in dealing with disasters.”

Speaking on the occasion, Kabir Bin Anwar, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, expressed optimism over the strengthening of an integrated digital forecasting system for the entire country. 

Fazlur Rashid, Director General of the Water Development Board, delivered the welcome address at the function conducted by Deputy Secretary Mahmudul Hasan. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Adviser, A2I Program, Feroz Salah Uddin, Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent, and Md. Mohsin, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief also spoke briefly.

Earlier, Ushi Matias, Vice President of Google, who was virtually connected, also spoke on the occasion.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak, said, “72 lakh people have availed telemedicine services during the Corona period. About 81 percent people of the country live in floodplains. This forecasting system will greatly help reduce the damage."

As a flood and disaster-prone country in the world, Bangladesh has already been praised in the world through its improved flood management. By processing Water Development Board's existing 5-day flood forecast data through flood forecasting and warning systems, various flood forecasts and warnings are being provided at the local community level on an immediate basis three days to three hours before any onset of floods with the help of improved flood maps. 

Work continues with Google to further increase this forecasting or early warning time. Google is currently providing this forecast for Android smartphone users through 'push notifications'.

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