• Monday, Jun 17, 2019
  • Last Update : 08:40 am

Always best to be prepared

  • Published at 11:58 pm May 3rd, 2019
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

Let us learn to be prepared for all kinds of weather-related emergencies

It is good to know that the government has not neglected to prepare for Cyclone Fani -- one of the most powerful cyclones to be formed in the Bay of Bengal in the last 20 years.

Thousands of volunteers are on standby to help out in any way needed, and that is a good first step, but there is a bigger, more long-term picture which the authorities should pay attention to.

It is a fact that Bangladesh is a delta country, and as such, we are naturally in the line of tropical cyclones -- and devastating consequences have been witnessed in the past.

Cyclone Sidr of 12 years ago, for instance, is still fresh in memory -- according to some estimates the casualty count was over 10,000, and the damage done to livestock and property may well have been as high as Tk130 crore.

Roanu, Aila, and the 1991 Chittagong cyclone also caused untold misery to the people of Bangladesh, which we are unlikely to ever forget.

And yet, when it comes to long-term vision and planning regarding weather phenomena, we have been sadly lacking, and have mostly dealt with each event in an ad hoc manner.

The valiant work done by the volunteers mobilized by the government, or help provided by relief organizations certainly deserve our kudos, but more needs to be done, for example, in terms of evacuating homes in danger zones, building of storm shelters, and keeping relief materials easily accessible.

Often, we fail to act before tragedy has already struck; let us break this pattern and learn to be prepared for all kinds of weather-related emergencies.