Cyclone Roanu is a reminder: we must focus on preventing crises, even as we respond to them

23 May 2016

Bangladesh’s exposure to cyclones will not lessen – in fact, with climate change we may see the coast battered more often, harder, and in unpredictable ways. UNDP Bangladesh
As the World Humanitarian Summit unfolds and leaders discuss the humanitarian impact of rising crises and disasters, half a million people are currently displaced after Cyclone Roanu pummeled the Bangladesh coastline on Saturday, with 55mph winds and floodwaters several feet high. Making landfall in the country’s south-east, the cyclone brought devastation to areas unaffected by cyclones for the past 25 years. Where there used to be crops there is now salt water – the sea surrounding even the cyclone shelter. We are already on the ground in Banshkali, the hardest-hit area and the site of 7 of the 24 confirmed deaths caused by cyclone. The embankment protecting the people living there caved in, flooding homes, crops, and freshwater fish ponds.   Meeting with survivors and surveying the damage, our team learnt that in some areas, as many as ninety percent of houses may be damaged, leaving families without shelter for the oncoming monsoon season. Many are now sheltering on a raised road nearby.   Further south, in the sub-district Chokoria, the embankment had not been fully reconstructed following last year’s Cyclone Komen. On Saturday, the community was again inundated by Roanu. The poor recovery left the villages even more vulnerable than … Read more

'Result matters, isn’t it!'- World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015

17 Mar 2015

Updates from World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR)Highlights of day 1a.       Third UN WCDRR 2015 has been officially opened today by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon in Sendai, Japan. The Secretary-General told the 4,000 participants – including representatives of 186 governments - attending the opening day of the five day event: “You have made this the highest-level meeting on DRR in history. This is the first stop on our journey to a new future. DRR advances progress on sustainable development and climate change.” He added, we can watch that number grow as more people suffer. Or we can dramatically lower that figure and invest the savings in development. Six billion dollars allocated each year can result in savings of up to US$360 billion by 2030. Among other dignitaries, His Majesty the emperor and Her Majesty the empress of Japan attended to grace the opening ceremony. The Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, also spoke in the opening session.b.      His Excellency Mr. Abe, today pledged $US 4 billion to support implementation of the “Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction” over the next four years. The package will focus on the development of disaster-proof infrastructure, … Read more