Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said she wants to prepare Bangladesh so it can face any sort of disaster -- manmade or natural.
“Whether a manmade or natural disaster strikes, Bangladesh will always remain prepared to tackle it. That’s what we need,” she said while addressing an event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Disaster management and relief ministry organised the programme, with the theme “Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services”.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Relief Ministry AB Tajul Islam and Senior Secretary Md Shah Kamal also spoke at the programme.
The prime minister distributed Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) awards to three volunteers from Chattogram, Barishal and Khulna divisions. This year, 82 volunteers got the awards.
She also inaugurated 100 multipurpose cyclone shelters in 14 districts and 11,604 disaster resilient houses in 64 districts.
Later, the premier inaugurated an exhibition on disaster risk reduction.
After the country gained independence, she said, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had built 172 “Mujib Killa” to protect and save people’s lives and property from devastating cyclones. With cooperation of the then Red Cross, he had undertaken the Cyclone Preparedness Programme in 1972, she added.
“Presently, CPP has about 56,000 trained volunteers. Besides, there are 24 lakh Ansar-VDP members, 17 lakh scouts, four lakh BNCC members and four lakh Girl Guides ready to be engaged in humanitarian response at any time,” Hasina said.
She mentioned that the government has constructed 378 more Mujib Killa. Apart from this, 3,868 multi-purpose cyclone shelters have been built in the coastal districts and 1,650 more shelters will be constructed gradually.
The PM said the government has taken a project on providing 5,00,000 household grain stores (silos) to families in 63 upazilas of 19 districts. By April 2019, the government provided silos to 3,28,000 families. Besides, the government is constructing eight silo complexes in eight districts with a storage capacity of 5,00,000 metric tonnes.
“We’re constructing silos so that we can preserve food grains for two years to face any adverse situation,” she said.
Hasina said the government has designed a project titled “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” for combating climate change. “We’ve designed the project to provide a beautiful better future for generations,” she said.
To face any type of disaster, Hasina said, the country needs a large volume of equipment. “We have procured equipment worth Tk 236 crore, while the procurement of more equipment worth Tk 1,000 crore has been taken, so that we can face any disaster in every region of the country.”