POST TIME: 14 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM
PM wants to get country ready to face any calamity
UNB, Dhaka

PM wants to get country ready to face any calamity

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she wants to prepare Bangladesh in such a way so that it can face any sort of disaster whether it is a manmade or natural one. "Whether a manmade or natural disaster strikes, Bangladesh will always remain prepared to tackle it. That’s what we need," she said. The Prime Minister was addressing an event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking the International Day for Disaster Reduction. Disaster Management and Relief Ministry organised the programme with the theme 'Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services'. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh now enjoys the honour as a role model of tackling natural disaster alongside the tag for development. “We want to build the country as a developed and prosperous one. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman dreamt of building Golden Bengal. We’ve been working tirelessly to fulfill that dream,” she said. State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Relief Ministry AB Tajul Islam and Senior Secretary Md Shah Kamal also spoke at the programme. Shefali Rani Shil and Mohammad Shahidul Islam who got disaster resilient houses, constructed by the government, expressed their feelings at the programme. The Prime Minister distributed Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) awards to three volunteers from Chattogram, Barishal and Khulna divisions. This year, 82 volunteers got the awards.

She also inaugurated 100 multipurpose cyclone shelters in 14 districts and 11,604 disaster resilient houses in 64 districts. Later, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Exhibition on Disaster Risk Reduction. After the country’s independence, she said, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had built 172 ‘Mujib Kellas’ to protect and save the people’s lives and property from devastating cyclones. With the cooperation by the then Red Cross, he had undertaken the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) in 1972, he said. “Presently, CPP has about 56,000 trained volunteers. Besides, there are 24 lakh Anser VDP members, 17 lakh scouts, 4 lakh BNCC members and 4 lakh Girls Guides ready to be engaged in humanitarian response at any time,” Hasina said.

She mentioned that the government has constructed 378 more Mujib Kellas. Apart from this, 3,868 multi-purpose cyclone shelters have been built in the coastal districts and 1,650 more shelters will be constructed gradually.

“Due to the present government’s timely and effective measures, the impacts of natural calamities have come down to minimum,” she said. Hasina said Standing Orders on Disasters (SoD) was first introduced in 1997 while Awami League was in power which was revised again in 2010.

“We formed National Disaster Management Council (NDMC). Our government adopted Disaster Management Act-2012. Under The auspice of this act, we formed the Department of Disaster Management, which is playing an important role in risk reduction and management activities during natural and human error-caused disasters.”

Keeping in mind the sufferings of the internally-displaced people caused by natural disasters, she said, “We’ve formulated a strategic paper in 2015 and also undertaken national resilience plan, which are highly relevant with the Sendai Framework and the SDGs.”

The Prime Minister mentioned that the government has established National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) in 2015. A Humanitarian Staging Area is being established in Purbachal for large scale disaster management.

“By the meantime, we’ve started the modernisation and expansion works at Saidpur Airport so that it becomes a regional hub of emergency services even for the neighbouring countries.”

She said the government has taken programme for huge tree plantation. Not only by the government, but also from the party’s initiative Bangladesh Awami League has been planting hundreds of thousand trees every year.

She said the government has taken a project on providing 5,00,000 household grain stores (Silos) to the families in 63 upazilas of 19 districts. By April 2019, the government has already given silos to 3,28,000 families.

Besides, the government is constructing eight silo complexes in eight districts with a storage capacity of 5,00,000 metric tonnes.

“We’re constructing silos so that we could preserve foodgrains for two years to face any adverse situation,” she said.

Hasina said the government has designed project titled ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’ for combating climate change. “We’ve designed the project to provide a beautiful better future for the future generation.”

To face any type of disaster, Hasina said, the country needs huge equipment. “We’ve procured equipment worth Tk 236 crore while the procurement of more equipment worth Tk 1,000 has been taken so that we can face any disaster in every region of the country.”

The Prime Minister said the government has launched Bangabandhu-1 satellite and it is taking steps to provide information to char, island and other remote areas using the satellite.

She said the country has achieved a great success in reducing risks and losses of cyclone, flood, drought, earthquake and fire,

which is being appreciated by the international community.

In July this year, she said, Bangladesh hosted the Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation, where former Secretary General of the United Nation declared the establishment of a “Global Centre for Adaptation- Dhaka Office” as a symbol of Bangladesh’s outstanding performance in this sector.