Dhaka, September 6: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has laid importance on a well-thought-out disaster management plan to keep the extent of causalities and damages of disasters to an optimum level.
For its geographical location Bangladesh is a disaster prone country. So, we have to live with the phenomenon with necessary plans to keep the extent of damages and loss of lives to an optimum level in any catastrophe, she said.
The premier was speaking at a meeting of the National Disaster Management Council at her Tejgaon office here on Wednesday.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has all preparations to cope with any sort of disasters. She said the government has always responded very fast whenever it received forecast of any disaster, engaging every human and material support to reduce the loss of lives and property.
In this regard, the prime minister pointed out the negligence of BNP government to response during the cyclone in 1991 saying “even they didn’t care to have information about the disaster.”
Pointing out the government’s disaster management preparations during the recent flood, the prime minister said the government had undertaken a plan so that no people die of starvation.
Apart from all the concerned departments of the government, the party workers worked sincerely to reach food, medicine and other relief materials to the affected people, she said.
Ministers, secretaries, chiefs of the three services and heads of law enforcement agencies and various concerned departments attended the meeting.
The prime minister said the government has taken necessary measures to avoid any possibility of food shortage and keep the sufferings of the people to a tolerable level. The government is importing food to ensure food security, she said.
Pointing out the disaster caused by the recent landslide due to heavy rainfall in the hill districts of the country, the prime minister said, army, fire service, police and other agencies of the government worked together to rescue affected people from the areas.
Members of the concerned agencies and organisations are in the fields to tackle the situation after receding the flood water, she said and added that the party workers are also working with them round the clock.
She urged all concerned to work together in such a way that none suffer due to floods and other kinds of natural disasters.
Sheikh Hasina said flood can cause disasters to the farmers and other people by damaging houses and crops.
But, sometimes it comes as blessing for the people as it carries silt and other ingredients to make the cultivable land more fertile, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had tackled a long term flood in 1998 when about 70 percent of the country went under water and there was a prediction of death of 20 million people. But, the Awami League government successfully tackled the situation, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh now has the capacity to face any natural disaster. Father of the Nation had taken steps to train up 45,000 volunteers to rescue flood hit people.
The incumbent government is preparing volunteers for post earthquake rescue operation and disaster management, she said.