Bangladesh has to deal with some natural and man-made disasters due to its geographical location along with the adverse effects of climate change.
Bangladesh had to deal with cyclone Fani and Bulbul in 2019 and cyclone Ampan in 2020. The loss of life and property been limited as the government is prepared to deal with these natural disasters. The government was also well prepared for this year's cyclone Yaas.
The steps taken by the government in tackling climate change and disasters to achieve social security have enriched the economy of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's initiative to establish a poverty-free and prosperous Bangladesh has been praised all over the world.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr. Md. Enamur Rahman made these comments while speaking as the chief guest at the "Earthquake and Fire Awareness Exercise" organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief on the occasion of International Disaster Mitigation Day-2021 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Sunday.
The state minister said "Floods, cyclones, tidal surges, river erosion, droughts, cold waves, fires, lightning and landslides are our well-known disasters. It will be possible to reduce the loss of life and property and deal with any disaster through public awareness and prior preparation. And the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing that.
He further said that soon after independence in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman adopted disaster risk reduction activities instead of relief-based disaster management.
“In 1972, with the establishment of the Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP), he formally launched an early warning system. The CPP is playing an important role in promoting cyclone warnings among at-risk communities to save the lives and resources”, he added.
The state minister further said that under the direction of Bangabandhu, earthen forts were constructed to protect people's lives and property from cyclones and floods, which is popularly known as Mujib Killas. Following the path shown by Bangabandhu, Bangladesh has become known in the world as a role model in disaster management.
The Disaster Management Secretary in his speech said that Bangabandhu started the CPP's journey with 18,000 volunteers who have been playing a vital role in protecting people's lives through early warning and search and rescue operations.
The number of CPP volunteers has been increased to 76,020 under the direction of the PM. About 50% of these volunteers are women. There are modern weather radar and forecasting systems all over the country. There are more than 5,000 multi-purpose cyclone shelters along the coast. Educational institutions are used as shelters in emergencies.
Highlighting a comparative picture of the loss of lives in the disaster, the Disaster Management Secretary said that more than one million people lost their lives in the cyclone of 1970.
“Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the death toll in cyclones of the same magnitude has come down to a singular digits in recent times,” he said.
The event was presided over by Mohsin, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. Special guests on the occasion were Rashed Khan Menon, Chairman, Standing Committee on Ministry of Social Welfare, Ranjit Kumar Sen, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Farid Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Dhaka South City Corporation, Brigadier General Dr. Nazmul Haque, Director, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Dr. Lieutenant Colonel Zillur Rahman, Director, Department of Civil Defense.