Dealing with disasters

Time to gear up efforts


Chairing the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) meeting at the PMO, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday rightly emphasized the needs for reinforcing disaster preparedness to minimize the causalities from disasters. Bangladesh is one of the most resilient countries to disasters in the world. 

Despite increasing disasters with greater intensity, the dexterity that has been executed by Bangladesh in disaster preparedness over the last few years is commendable indeed. But what is worrying is that because of the consequences of routine natural disasters country’s growth rate may lose its momentum in coming days which will hinder our development gains unless proper mitigation measures are undertaken immediately. Natural disasters have been a part of our lives since millennia and preparing for it requires sincere efforts from both the public and private sector. 

Every year in Bangladesh, thousands of lives get affected by different natural disasters such as cyclone, norwester, flood, landslide and many more. Acres of cultivated land and other properties get destroyed. In such situations, our preparedness and collective surviving skill can save lives. 

Over the years, Bangladesh has earned good reputation and international recognition for efficient management of disasters. Nevertheless, it is to mention that the disaster management system of the country needs further development. It requires more focused initiatives for increasing the capacity of the authorities concerned including public and private agencies. 

However, still Bangladesh is lacking in resources to stand against natural disasters but with proper implementation of new technologies, we can save lives, properties and assets and reduce the negative impact of disasters on them. Moreover, higher number of education and training programmes in disaster prone areas should be carried out in order to develop professionalism in disaster management system. 

Also to deal with future natural calamities we have to plan and design interventions for prevention and mitigation of natural disasters with extra caution. In this regard, focusing on community level preparedness rather than demanding increased allocation for disaster and climate change preparedness would be very much pertinent. 

Also there is need to prioritize the districts vulnerable to natural disasters and establish a district level funding mechanism focusing capacity building of women, young people and children, and promote green jobs at rural and semi-urban areas which will not only contribute to decrease vulnerability posed by natural disasters but also will fuel our national economic growth.