Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Disaster Management Act should be enacted as soon as possible: KCC Mayor

KCC mayor TA Khaleque is addressing in the Dialogue
Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Talukdar Abdul Khaleque said that, the Disaster Management Act (DMA) is a must for Bangladesh and especially for southwest coastal region of Bangladesh. He said, Low-lying delta Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. A large part of the population is always at risk due to the country’s unique geographical location, overwhelming dependence on nature and its resources, high population density, high level of poverty, failing institutions and management”. KCC Mayor stressed that more than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The number of poor and ultra poor is increasing day by day. Frequent natural disasters make the situation worse, increasing the risk of vulnerability.
Particularly, the south-western coastal belt of Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone zones in the world where storm, cyclone, tidal surge, drought, river erosion and water-logging are now common. Due to climate change the frequency and intensity of disasters are increasing, threaten lives and livelihoods. Referring that Sidr on November 15, 2007 and Aila on May 25, 2009 battered Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Barguna, Patuakhali, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Noakhali, Bhola, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar districts. Disasters cause heavy losses to the economy and hamper the development process.
Mayor Khaleque expressed these opinions while speaking as chief guest at a day-long workshop on “Disaster Management Act: Safeguard for the vulnerable Communities” held at the conference room of Hotel Western Inn, Khulna Tuesday, 11 September 2012. 
Khaleque stressed the need for public awareness and modernised training to protect life, livelihood and resources of millions of vulnerable people across the country. It will not only save vulnerable people exposed to natural disasters in various forms but also pave the way for sustainable development of Bangladesh.
Other speakers also elaborated the adverse impacts of climate changes on the habitations, livelihoods, environment, irrigation, navigation, ecology, biodiversity, weather and under ground water levels. Humanitywatch organised the workshop under assistance of Oxfam GB and Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project. 
Sundarbans Academy executive director Professor Anowarul Quadir moderated the dialogue while lawmaker of Khulna-2 constituency Nazrul Islam Manju, Department of Environment (DOE) director Dr. Tarun Kanti Sikdar, Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) superintendent engineer Abdul Latif Mia and Aila-Victims Solidarity Platform convener Advocate Firoz Ahmed addressed the dialogue as special guests. Khulna district commissioner Mezbah Uddin chaired the dialogue.
Oxfam GB humanitarian campaign officer Tapas Ranjan Chakraborty presented the concept paper on "Importance and Attributes of Disaster Management Act 2012" while Humanitywatch programme coordinator Shariful Islam Salim presented the experience of the campaign since last 2 years. Mr. Tapas Ranjan Chakraborty showed the socio-economic vulnerabilities and climate risks of Bangladesh which demand a coordinated disaster management for the country. He paid special thanks to the media, civil society representatives and the member of parliaments (MPs) to contribute for enacting the act.
Total 76 persons from administration, NGO community, political parties, cultural groups and students were participated in the dialogue. Among them Krishak League central leader Shyamol Singha Roy, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) central leader Rafiqul Hoque Khokon, Greater Khulna Development Movement Committee president SM Dawood Ali, Biplobi Workers Party leader Monirul Huq Bacchu, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) - Batiaghata Shanti Moni Chakma, UNO-Dacope Abdul Halim, UNO-Dumuria Kamrul Hasan and UNO-Phultala Habibur Rahman, Civil Surgeon Dr. Golam Mortaza Sikdar, Agricultural Extension Officer Shahiduzzaman, Department of Social Services assistant director Delowar Hossain, Forest Department assistant conservator Keramat Ali Mallick, Department of Youth Development officer Abdul Kader Sheikh, Press and Information Department (PID) senior officer M Zaved Iqbal, CEC coordinator Humayun Kabir Boby, Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) officer MA Gaffar, BELA divisional coordinator Mahfuzur Rahman Mukul, Prantojon executive director Tauhudul Islam Shahazada, Dhrupad executive director Basudeb Biswas Babla, Janauddyog coordinator Mahendranath Sen, Pankhali Union Parishad (UP) chairman Shikdar Sohrab Hossain, Dacope UP chairman Sanjay Moral, DALIT education coordinator Dhara Devi Das, Freelance development activist SKMD Bahlul Alam addressed in the dialogue among others.

Related Resources
a) Presentation - Disaster Management Act: Importance and Contents
b) Brief Paper - Disaster Management Act: Why It is Important

Media Coverage
1. Daily Independent (English): Workshop on Disaster Management Held