Disaster Management and Relief Ministry to introduce software for overall disaster management system
Speakers at a program on Wednesday recommended creating a valid database to track down people efficiently to provide them with relief materials after the occurrence of natural disasters.
Top bureaucrats, agency officials, local representatives and NGO executives participated in a discussion, “Technical Workshop on Flood Preparedness Program and Earthquake Emergency Planning”, held under the National Resilience Programme in Dhaka.
The database of the underprivileged population, which ought to be updated periodically, can help the authorities concerned to trace people living in vulnerable and risky zones and make their relocation before a disaster trouble-free.
The Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and the Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety has developed an earthquake preparedness model to build disaster resilient communities through vulnerability assessment, capacity and awareness building and promoting safe construction practices.
Prof Raquib Ahsan of Buet said after the university had conducted a study on 12 wards of different vulnerable areas, the research team submitted draft contingency plans which included a temporary shelter plan, emergency health facilities and evacuation route plan, and suggested that the authorities concerned install ward coordination centres.
“If the recommendations are not implemented properly, people living in seismic zones will suffer a lot since earthquakes cannot be predicted,” Raquib Ahsan remarked.
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Meanwhile, the Buet Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) presented a Dynamic Flood Risk Management Model to tackle flood vulnerability in Bangladesh.
Quoting the Bangladesh Water Development Board, the IWFM said seven major floods had hit Bangladesh since 1954 and the country had seen 3-5% of GDP shrink with each flood.
More than 25% area of the country was inundated 17 times during various floods, while the floods of 1998 hit 68% of the country.
To prevent similar occurrences, the IWFM had created a dynamic model which included a 2D numerical simulation and scenario generation.
The organization also recommended building a database to identify the closest possible scenario from the forecasts of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, Prof Munsur Rahman of the institute said.
Speaking as the chief guest, Secretary for Disaster Management and Relief Md Mohsin said relief work would be interrupted if a natural disaster occurred suddenly.
“We need to take measures in advance to tackle that. If humanitarian aid is provided in a more systematic manner, people at risk of facing disasters will benefit a great deal from it,” he remarked.
Besides, a successful implementation of flood and earthquake risk management models would help reduce the loss of lives and properties, the secretary said.
He also stated that the ministry was going to introduce software for the disaster management system with United Nations assistance. The project would cost Tk26 crore.