Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for launching a nationwide awareness campaign to reduce losses related to disasters, including the manmade ones like incidents of fire.
While presiding over meeting of the National Disaster Management Council on Thursday, the Prime Minister also asked the authorities concerned to continuously review preparedness for successful handling of the disasters.
“Creating awareness among the people is necessary alongside taking timely measures from the national, organisational and personal level to minimize disaster damages,” Hasina said while addressing the meeting in Dhaka.
The disaster related directives must be publicized to let people understand what they should do during disasters.
The NDMC is headed by the prime minister. Ministers, senior civil and military officials including chiefs of the three armed forces and heads of law enforcement agencies are members of the body.
Hasina asked everyone to work in a coordinated manner to reduce people’s sufferings during natural disasters as Bangladesh experience floods and cyclones almost every year due to its geo-physical features.
“We have to live with the phenomenon with necessary plans to keep the extent of damages and loss of lives to a minimal level during any disaster,” she added.
Hasina referred to the recent incidents of fire that claimed many lives in Dhaka’s Banani and Chawkbazar saying massive infrastructure development invites such disasters.
She suggested the people to use modern equipment such as electricity, gas cylinder and flammable substances catiously to minimize the risk.
“Modernisation gives us comfort, but it also creates risks. We should be careful to keep the risk at the minimum level,” she said asking people to remain careful and prepared in their offices and homes to face any disasters.
During the post-independence period, Bangabandhu had planned to build 1,000 cyclone shelters called “Mujib Killa” along the southern coastlines to protect the people from tidal surges and cyclones.
The present government took many steps for disaster management while it successfully the protracted 1998 floods which even inundated the Dhaka city amid a prediction that the flood could kill 20 million people.
The prime minister said the government took necessary measures to avoid any possibility of food shortage and keep the sufferings of the people to a tolerant level.