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The community sitting with staff from BDPC

Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone countries of the world. Some call the country the ‘Supermarket of Disasters’. Every year disasters like floods, cyclones and many more devastating disasters affect the life of its people. As it is a poor country, the risk of disasters for the people of Bangladesh is huge. To minimize the risk of disasters for these people, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC) is implementing a project named RRDPRG in three different locations of Bangladesh with the financial support of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF). Kutubdia is one of those areas where BDPC is implementing the RRDPRG Project. Through the Project, BDPC is trying to make people aware about their rights and also reducing the risk of disasters for the people through establishing good governance, accountability in the society.

To reduce the risk of disasters for the people, it is important that the service providing organizations provide their services efficiently to the community. One of the main objectives of BDPC is to ensure the service from the Government service providing organizations to the poor people in order to increase the strength of the community to reduce their risk to disaster and also make a bridge of relationship between the people and the service providers. In order to establish the rights for the people, BDPC has implemented various tools like Public Hearing Meeting, Community Score Card (CSC), Information and Service Fair 2012 in Kutubdia. Though arranging these events is not that easy due to various reasons, the Service Providers in Kutubdia has given great support to ensure people’s right.

The community sitting with staff from BDPC

As a continuation of that process, on 18 December, 2012 BDPC arranged the Community Score Card (CSC) in the Upazila Agriculture Office in Ali Akbar Dale Union in Kutubdia. Among the guests, the UNO Mr. Firoz Ahmed was present as the Chief Guest and Mr. Boni Amin Khan, the Upazila Agriculture Officer was the Special Guest at the event. In this programme, the community and the officers of Upazila Agriculture Department gave scores on different issues.  Depending on the scores from both sides, a combined work plan was constructed where the Officials of Upazila Agriculture Department made numerous commitments. Among the commitments, timely distributions of fertilizers, informing the farmers about the price of the fertilizers, agricultural advice to the farmers were mentionable.

After the implementation of CSC to fulfill the commitments, the Sub- Assistant Agriculture Officers went door to door of the farmers and prepared a list containing the name of the farmers and their amount of land used for the BORO seed beds and estimated how much would be his demand for cultivation of his land. After that, fertilizers were distributed on time according to the demand of the farmers. The Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer was present at the shop of the dealer to monitor the whole distribution process.

The services that were given by the Upazila Agriculture Office to the farmers for the BORO season is described below.

  • Preparing list of farmers going door to door.
  • Renewal and distributing new cards to the farmers
  • Giving letters to the responsible authority to provide more fertilizers than the demanded amount.
  • Arrange meeting under the Chairmanship of the UNO.
  • Finalize the price of the fertilizer and inform all the relative parties.
  • Distribute the fertilizer in the presence of Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer.
  • Making provision for monitoring so that the fertilizers cannot be sold in higher than the pre-fixed price.

It should be mentioned that before the implementation of Community Score Card (CSC) in Kutubdia, the Agriculture Office had not worked so efficiently. Their other commitments are the following.

  • Providing letters to the dealer regarding the pesticides distribution so that they cannot distribute pesticides without the instruction of Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer.
  • The contact details of the Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer will be displayed in each dealer’s shop so that the farmers can communicate with Agriculture Office and its officials.
  • The Sub-assistant Agriculture Officer will sit at least twice in a week with the farmers in the specific room in the Union Parishad.
  • Increase the field visit of the officials.

After the success of the implementation of Community Score Card, the community people have shown great appreciation regarding the performance of the Agriculture Office. Md. Shah Jahan, a farmer from Sandipi Para in Ali Akbar Dale said that in this year, the fertilizer distribution was done properly. We got appropriate amount of fertilizer according to our demand and this time the BORO seed bed is better than any previous time.

Md Faizul Alim, a farmer from Monu Sikder Para of Ali Akbar Dale said that due to lack of fertilizers, the production was hampered in the previous years. But this year, the Agriculture Department has fulfilled their commitments of distributing fertilizers timely and according to the demand. I have received fertilizers according to my demand and for this reason; I have a very good production this year. I must thank BDPC for taking such noble initiative such as Community Score Card to ensure people’s right in the community.

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