Int’l day for disaster risk reduction today

News Desk : dhakamirror.com

Pragmatic early warning system for all types of disasters is yet to be introduced in the country although natural disasters cause huge losses and damages every year in Bangladesh.

Disaster experts said that Bangladesh has early warning for flood and cyclone but yet to develop pragmatic forecasting for flash flood, lightning and landslide, among others, that affect hundreds of people and damage huge properties every year.

They said that early warning and early response in any disaster can save both lose and damage by natural calamities.

Amid the reality, Bangladesh is set to observe ‘International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction’ today with the theme ‘Early Warning and Early Action for All,’ set by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

State minister for disaster management and relief Enamur Rahman, however, said that Bangladesh had improved a lot in early warning and overall disaster management.

‘Now casualties and damages due to disaster reduced significantly. The government is working to improve the situation further,’ he said.

Professor Raquib Ahsan, former director of the BUET-Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety said that man cannot stop natural hazards but can reduce loss and damage through preparedness.

‘Early warning is one of the best preparations and in most of the disasters it is possible now,’ he said.

He said that forecast of flash flood, landslide and lightning was available in the world but Bangladesh was yet to introduce them. Bangladesh has flood and cyclone forecasting, he added.

He said that the latest flash flood in Sylhet was not predicted. As a result, it took huge toll on the people though it was not difficult to get early warning for such disasters, he added.

Enamur Rahman said that the early warning for lightning strike to be installed very soon.

Gawher Nayeem Wahra, founding convener and member secretary of the Foundation for Disaster Forum, said that the forecast has been providing to people was not understandable to many people.

‘Cyclone warning message should be sent in local communicable language,’ he said.

Hasina Akter Mita, acting chief executive officer of Network for Information, Response and Preparedness Activities on Disaster — a network of 22 non-government organisations working for reducing disaster risk — said that river erosion also can be forecasted but not practiced in Bangladesh largely.

She said that not only forecast, people in Bangladesh were too exposed to disaster for their vulnerability and lack of coping capacity.

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