Proposals placed at PMO to face possible future natural calamities    


Dhaka, May 07: The ministries concerned on Tuesday placed a set of proposals, including establishing more shelter centres, strengthening the existing ones and water embankments, for building resilience to natural disasters like the recent severe cyclonic storm Fani.The proposals were placed at a post-Fani review meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office to fix the next course of actions in the face of natural disasters in the future, UNB reports.

The proposals also include establishment of an uninterrupted digital communication system using radio technology and satellite in case of failure of the traditional system during disaster; formation of project implementation and monitoring committees with the partnership of local people to expedite construction and repairing works of the embankments.

It also proposed allocation of adequate funds to set up new cyclone shelters, repairing and strengthening the existing cyclone centres and water embankments.

Speaking on the occasion, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said the existing primary and high schools, and even mosques can be turned into cyclone centres by strengthening their structures in coastal areas.

He said it is essential to build more ‘Mujib Killa’ in the country to protect livestock alongside saving people during natural calamities.

Post, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said the government is considering launching the Bangabandhu Satellite-2. “It’ll be good, if Bangabandhu satellite-2 is a weather one,” he added.

Bangladesh can develop alternative communication system in remote areas using the Bangabandhu Satellite during any disaster when the traditional communication system may not work, said Mustafa Jabbar adding that the Bangabandhu Satellite can also be used in providing healthcare services to disaster-affected people.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahaman said his ministry has initiated measures to repair 550 ‘Mujib Killa’ to protect the livestock during disaster.

Mentioning that more 2,500 cyclone shelter centres are needed in the country, he said adequate allocation is needed for this.

The State Minister said the government may consider introduction of ‘disaster insurance’ for the sake of quick recovery from damages, and providing cooked foods to the disaster-affected people.

The Sate Minister for Water Resources Zaheed Farooque said some points of total 5,665-killomere dams in the coast areas were affected by cyclonic storm Fani.

The damaged dams will have to be repaired quickly raising their heights and expanding their lengths, he said adding that an amount of Tk 263 crore is required to repair the damaged dams.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Relief Ministry AB Tajul Islam, State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Shawpan Bhattacharjee, Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem and Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) at PMO Abul Kalam Azad also spoke at the meeting presided over by Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman.

A power-point presentation was made at the meeting focusing on the country’s preparations for possible future disasters.