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“The right project has been given to the right institution, at the right moment”, stated with firm conviction by the Hon’ble State Minister, Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan during his speech in the Flood Preparedness Programme at BRAC Centre Inn. This thought displayed his immense appreciation towards the great work harbored by Ansar & VDP. Similarly, praising the unique initiative of Ansar & VDP with financial and technical support from CDMP and BDPC respectively, Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director of UNDP complimented the idea of amalgamating the country’s best resources, by saying “The best development project is the one that utilizes resources of its own country”.

Flood Preparedness Programme (FPP) is a unique programme being implemented in the two most flood prone districts, Sirajganj and Gaibandha, of Bangladesh. The Programme is being implemented by Ansar & VDP, funded by Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) with the technical support from Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre. On 09 September 2014 the Launching Ceremony of FPP was organized, where Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, in charge of Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh graced the occasion by his presence as the Chief Guest. Dr. Md. Mozammel Haque Khan, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Mesbah ul Alam, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Mr. Md. Abdul Quayyum, National Project Director of CDMP and Mr. Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director were present as Special Guests.

The event started with a presentation by the Deputy Director General (Ops) of Ansar & VDP on  the roles, responsibilities and the good practices of the institution followed by a speech by Mr .Ahsan Ali , Chief Engineer of BWDB on the current flood status of Bangladesh and role of BWDB. He also expressed the interest to work jointly with Ansar & VDP in his speech.

Mr. Muhammad Saidur Rahman, Director of Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC) made a presentation on the Flood Preparedness Programme where he emphasized on the importance of institutionalizing such an initiative. He also mentioned that a resource constraint country like Bangladesh should focus more on non-structural measures than structural. Moreover, Mr. Mohammad Abdul Qayyum, National Project Director of CDMP, in his speech continually emphasized how volunteerism runs in the culture of the people of Bangladesh and is one of the main ingredients to battle with flood. He believes that FPP is going to set an example of volunteerism in saving the lives of people.

Dr. Md. Mozammel Haque Khan, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Mr. Mesbah ul Alam, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief appreciated the initiative taken to institutionalize Flood Preparedness Programme in their speeches. Dr. Md. Mozammel Haque Khan also stated that he hopes Government will take necessary steps to consign FPP leading to a reduction of the loss of life and property of the vulnerable community. On that note Mr. Mesbah ul Alam, highlighted the similarities of CPP and FPP and that since FPP is in line with CPP, the Programme will perform similarly to save lives in the flood vulnerable areas and reduce casualties identically.  They both look forward to take initiatives to make such a Programme sustainable.

Major General Md Nazim Uddin, Director General, Bangladesh Ansar & VDP in his speech thanked everyone for attending the programme and making the launching ceremony a success. He ended his speech by stating, “Now, Sirajganj and Gaibandha are underwater what could be a better time to launch such a project”.

The programme ended with a cultural performance by the members of Ansar & VDP.

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