Fifty years of disaster risk governance in Bangladesh

Source(s)
Daily Star, the - Bangladesh

By Mahbuba Nasreen

Bangladesh has been facing the challenges of disasters due to natural or anthropogenic causes for decades. Prior to independence, this part of land was recognised only as a poor and disaster-prone one. Without independence, the country would have never achieved the successes that it has today. Bangladesh has a dignified identity as a 'developing country'.

It is well-known that initiatives for managing disasters are intrinsically linked with independent Bangladesh.

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In the attempts to reduce disaster risks, the concept of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Bangladesh brought about a paradigm shift from 'reactive relief-based measures to proactive integrated management approach'. Preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery have become an integrated part of DRR mechanisms in most of the disaster-prone countries. Different policies, legislations and frameworks were developed for achieving DRR goals across the world.

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The Ministry has taken initiatives keeping in mind Bangabandhu's thoughts and emphasising on both structural and non-structural DRR activities such as reviving and reconstructing 'Mujib Killa' in different disaster-affected regions, increasing number of cyclone and flood shelters, building houses, improving roads and communication networks and constructing disaster resilience houses for the vulnerable people to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation.

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Climate change is a major cause for the increasing intensity and frequency of disasters. Bangladesh has been playing a crucial role to raise its voice in climate change negotiations and taking initiatives to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been instrumental in taking initiatives to protect the environment, combat the negative consequences of climate change and reduce disaster risk.

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