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Dhaka Tribune

Japan, UNDP to raise tsunami awareness for Bangladesh schoolchildren

Update : 02 Mar 2018, 11:03 AM
To raise the awareness and preparedness on tsunami, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the government of Japan arranged drills for school children in the district on Thursday. The coastal belt of Bangladesh is vulnerable to tsunami, but people of the coastal areas are not aware of it, especially the children are at high risk, said the UNDP. As part of that, drills and art competition were held at Madhya Kurushkul government primary school, where the Director General of the Department of Disaster Management Md Reaz Ahmed, attended the drill as the chief guest. Almost 230,000 people died in 2004 tsunami that hit Sumatra Island, Indonesia. After this one of the deadliest tsunami, UNDP, with financial support from Japan, has been working in 18 countries including Bangladesh to raise tsunami awareness among the school children. Under this initiative, UNDP in association with the Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, identified five most vulnerable schools in Cox's Bazar and Maheshkhali districts and has been working to raise the awareness of the children about Tsunami. UNDP Bangladesh, Country Director Sudipto Mukerjee said coastal areas are always vulnerable to many disasters like cyclone, landslide, tidal surge etc. "Tsunami poses a threat. School-aged children and students can make a significant contribution to enhancing the awareness and preparedness of a community simply by sharing the knowledge with their family members," Sudipto said. While speaking at the event, Md Reaz said among many other disasters, tsunami is a new threat for Bangladesh. "We only got to know about this after the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. Bangladesh government has already taken many initiatives to minimize the loss, if Tsunami hits," he said. Professor, Disaster Science and Management, University of Dhaka Dr ASM Maksud Kamal stated: “Many people from the coastal areas, have not heard about Tsunami yet. "Though there is low risk of Tsunami in Bangladesh but still steps should be taken to keep the poor and marginalized people of the coastal areas safe, if Tsunami hits".
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