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Flood Preparedness Programme

 

Bangladesh, as one of the most vulnerable developing countries has developed up-to-the-minute flood warning system with support from development partners.  Bangladesh is a country of rivers; the total annual runoff of surface water flowing through the rivers of Bangladesh is about 12,000 billion cubic meters (Annual Flood Report 2012, FFWC, BWDB). Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, under the Bangladesh Water Development Board relentlessly monitoring water level of different river basin like Brahmaputra Basin, Ganges Basin, Meghna Basin etc and providing day-to-day information. The ultimate goal of FFWC is to protect lives and property of country people through effective information dissemination. FFWC does maintain up-to-date information and produce daily forecast.

 

The majority of the country people live with water. Rural dwellers do not go away when water level keeps rising above the average level in monsoon. This is a normal picture; nevertheless, poor understanding of early warning and prolonged inundation causes loss of properties and even human life. Inadequate information down-streaming, lack of coordination at the local level, understanding the intensity of flooding situation, and growing population is also disaster damage heightening factors. Appreciating the muse to piloting ‘Flood Preparedness Programme’ brought to light mutually by CDMP, Ansar-VDP and BDPC. To protect precious assets, the volunteer network of FPP under Bangladesh Ansar and VDP would be activated automatically. Besides pre-disaster and emergency response in the locality, volunteers would be capacitated to make people understand early warning, to-do things during normal period and long term preparedness to withstand disaster in their respective locality. As the technical partner of FPP, BDPC will be responsible for preparing IEC materials and capacity building of volunteers and personnel.

Considering the situation mentioned above, Flood Preparedness Programme in line with Cyclone Preparedness Programme, focusing on the strength of VDP at village level for implementation by Ansar & VDP with financial support from CDMP is planned. The Flood Preparedness Programme has incorporated two major floods-prone districts from Northern region, Sirajganj and Gaibandha, for its pilot phase. Administrative status and demography of said two districts are articulated in the table below:

 

District Name

Division

No of Upazila

No. Of Union

No. Of Village

Sirajganj District

Rajshahi

05 (Sadar, Kazipara, Chowhali, Belkuchi & Shahajadpur)

49

1015

Gaibandha District

Rangpur

04 (Sadar, Saghata, Fulchori & Sundarganj)

45

548

   

09

94

1563

 

Population

Male

Female

Poverty

Sirajganj District

3220814 (2011)

1613173

1607641

33-43% (WB)

Gaibandha District

2471681 (2011)

1214563

1257118

33-43% (WB)

 

56,92,495 (2011)

2827736

2864759

 

Source: Community Report 2012, BBS, WB = World Bank

Sirajganj and Gaibandha, both the districts are extremely flood-prone. River floods resulting from the bank overflows from major rivers like Jamuna, Ghaghat, Ichamati, Tista and their tributaries and distributaries throughout the monsoon season from June to September. At the same time, silent disaster bank erosion of these rivers is causing in-country migration, structural losses, social instability and social chaos.

Flood Preparedness Programme, a joint initiative of CDMP and BDPC, is planned to establish an early warning system and preparedness against flood. Although the programme is planned in line with Cyclone Preparedness Programme it is different in the sense that,  apart from early warning system it focuses on preparedness too. The project will be implemented by Ansar & VDP utilizing their structure with technical support from BDPC and financial support from CDMP. On 26 June, 2013 the first formal meeting of the programme was held at the conference room of CDMP and the second meeting was held on 6 October, 2013 at Ansar& VDP headquarters. A MoU was signed among the tri-parties on 10 October 2013. The programme aims to help around 35 lac people living in 102  flood prone Unions of  the above mentioned Districts.

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