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On the precipice of death

  • Published at 01:53 am May 23rd, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:55 am May 23rd, 2018

Why is more not being done to protect residents in these places?

The number of people killed by landslides in our country every year is too high to bear.

A recent landslide in Bandarban has claimed at least four lives. 

This comes less than a year after last year’s disaster in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where over 70 people lost their lives.

With Bangladesh being one of the countries most susceptible to the effects of global climate change, we need to be more prepared for natural disasters such as these occurring more frequently.

More so in the country’s hillier regions, where practices such as rampant, unchecked deforestation and cutting of hills has led to these areas becoming hazardous for human footfall -- especially given the amount of rainfall that we witness this time of year.

To that end, we feel compelled to ask: Why is more not being done to protect residents in these places?

And no, setting up temporary tents during the monsoon season is not a sustainable solution at all. We need the government, in conjunction with local administrations and communities, to work together towards a more permanent solution to this specific hazard posed to the entire population in these areas.

We need better forest management, we need better coordination among those who decide on deforestation and the ones who are cutting down the trees, and we need more accurate weather forecasts.

Last year alone, 168 people were killed in landslides with thousands of home and other structures damaged -- let us not let the number climb higher this year.