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FT online

Published:
2019-03-10 11:39:44 BdST

President, PM expect country to reduce disaster risks


President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed their optimism that Bangladesh will be able to play an important role in reducing disaster risks and disaster-related causalities with united efforts from government, private and voluntary organisations.

They came up with the optimism in separate messages on the eve of National Disaster Preparedness Day tomorrow under the auspices of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry.

The President, in his message, said today negative impacts of global warming and climate change are being witnessed worldwide.

Abdul Hamid said Bangladesh is considered as one of the disaster prone countries in the world due to climate change and its geographical location.

The participatory approach of volunteers, fire service and civil defence, army, ansar, scouts, girls guide, BNCC and locals in the initiatives to reduce disaster risks has made the country a role model of disaster management in the entire world, he said.

The President said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was conferred with ‘Champion of the Earth’ award by the United Nations for her special contributions to meet the challenge of adverse impacts of climate change which brings a great honor for the country.

“So, the theme of this year ‘Preparation to meet disaster, will reduce risks to life and property’ is very realistic and perfect,” he observed.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had established Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) in 1972 (with the help of the then League of Red Cross) to reduce disaster risks.

Bangabandhu had built ‘Mujib Killa’ in coastal regions to protect wildlife from cyclone and tidal surge.

The premier said since 2009, the Awami League government has been putting emphasis on disaster preparedness programmes to reduce disaster causalities.

“We have included disaster risk reduction programmes in all development initiatives,” she said.

The prime minister said some 3851 cyclone shelter centers, 230 flood shelter centers and 17,830 bridges and culverts were constructed in the last 10 years.

At present, construction of 220 cyclone shelters centers, 423 flood shelter centers, 66 relief warehouses, 13,000 bridges and culverts, and turning of 8350-kilometer non-brick roads into HBB (Herringbone Brick Bond) are underway, she said.

Besides, she said, 550 ‘Mujib Killa’ are being repaired and constructed throughout the country and necessary rescue operation equipment have been purchased.

“We have formulated time befitting laws, rules and plans to build an effective and strong disaster management structure,” she said.

The prime minister said the incumbent government is determined to implement disaster related targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) between 2015 and 2030.

‘We have taken Delta Plan 2100. We have prioritized utilization of information and communication technology in different programmes including rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, cautionary alerting method in disasters, consciousness raising, disaster risk reduction, and assessment of causalities, Sheikh Hasina said.

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