Radio cyclone warnings save thousands of lives
Monu Mia is no stranger to cyclones.
“I have survived several cyclones but the memory of losing my family in a cyclone stays with me,” the fisherman from Moheshkhali says. Mr. Monu comes from an impoverished community of fishermen, people so poor that even some of the lowest mobile phone tariffs in the world such as those in Bangladesh are viewed as a luxury for them.
Speaking softly Mr. Monu explains that fishermen previously depended on traditional prediction methods for cyclones or bad weather before going to sea. “When Gorky hit, I couldn’t warn my family and others around us to take necessary preparations,” he says of the 1991 cyclone that claimed upwards of 100,000 lives in Bangladesh.
- More than 3.5 million people evacuated through more effective early warning system and a network of 48,540 trained volunteers.
- UNDP trained staff at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department help track tropical storms with modern equipment connecting them to international weather forecasting agencies.
- New approach to disaster management resulted in a significant drop in fatalities, loss of livelihoods and property.
For the 8.2 million people in Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, who, the UN warned, were in the path of Cyclone Mahasen which made landfall on Thursday, the choice was always between fleeing to safety or risking their lives to remain at home and protecting their livestock and assets from being looted.
In helping communities balance these two priorities, accurate information has always been the key determinant.
“As soon as we heard of the depression in the bay we informed disaster management committees at the district and upazila level,” says Md Abdul Wajed, Director General of Bangladesh’s Department of Disaster Management.
“They have various ways of informing communities of an incoming cyclone such as going door to door, and nowadays through the use of community radio, he says.
In the past week, as Mahasen brewed in the Bay of Bengal, over 1.15 million people were evacuated by the government – an incredible feat that has likely saved thousands of lives.
“The situation is different as the community radio Naf has been airing regular information updates, warning messages and awareness programmes on disaster,” Mr. Monu says. In an effort to reach out to as many listeners as possible some of the programming is in a widely used local dialect.
The Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP II) under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief distributed the radios and batteries being used by thousands of people like Mr. Monu as cyclone Mahasen bore down on Bangladesh. On 11 May, 2013, CDMP II distributed 1200 high bandwidth radios and batteries to 14 CR broadcasters, out of those 510 has been distributed to the 6 CR Broadcasters located in coastal belt. The community Radio stations situated in the coastal zone namely have already extended their broadcasting hours with CDMP’s help.
The CDMP II intervention helps community radio broadcasters to produce quality radio programming on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) issues.
Puji Pujiono, Project Manager at Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme says the real importance of community radio is, “that it gives a local context to the disaster management process. No one size fits all in disaster management and community radio and how is used is a case in point. People have learned to use it in the way it best suits them and that shows that the process of preparedness is not a one way street. The real intervention is when people use a disaster preparedness tool in their own way to suit their needs. That’s what community radio offers.”
Community radio is a small aspect of CDMP’s work. They have empowered a dedicated team of volunteers who manage to not just inform millions who had previously been last in line for disaster information about imminent risks, but also help move them to safety. CDMP has helped shift the efforts from disaster response to planning and preparedness for emergencies while also helping infrastructure development to assist people in times of disasters and even after.
CDMP channels support through government and development partners, civil society and NGOs into a people-oriented disaster management and risk reduction partnership. The $76.3 million project is jointly funded by UKaid, EU, SIDA, AusAid, Norway, UNDP and the GoB.
- 28 Jun 2016:Experience Sharing Workshop on Community Disaster Reduction and Relief
- 13 Mar 2016:Key for a House, Key to some Dreams
- 18 Dec 2014:UN SUPPORT TO SUNDARBANS OIL SPILL RESPONSE
Latest ReportHuman Development Report 2013
When developed economies stopped growing during the 2008–2009 financial crisis but developing economies kept on growing, the world took notice. The rise of the South, seen within the developing world as an overdue global rebalancing, has been much commented on since.
- Join the #Pandas4GlobalGoals road trip around the world! Help the pandas travel the globe by taking a photo of a toy panda in front of your country's iconic landmark and uploading it to the comments section of the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP photo album 3 hours ago
- HAPPPY BIRTHADAY 5 hours ago
- "See more posts on"Facebook
UNDP Bangladesh on Facebook
- 16 years ago, in 2000, fewer than 700000 people were receiving lifesaving medication for HIV. Today, around 15 million HIV patients worldwide have healthcare and treatment options to prolong their life. Stigma remains the biggest reason for not getting tested and it remains the biggest reason for patients’ denial of healthcare in countries. Purshottam from India found out he was HIV positive in 1998. Doctors then had told him he wouldn’t live longer than 3-4 years. It has been 18 years and he’s still healthy working and being a productive member of society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCpYPScIMyY 19 July AT 01:26 AM
- “My two teenage sons’ education is entirely depending upon our income from goat rearing,” says Abdul Aziz (55), a day laborer from Bepari Para of Bagaichari Upazilla, #Rangamati District, who thanks to the help of United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh (UNDP) and Danida now makes an impressive income. Two years ago Abdul and his wife Romesha Begum (49), started #goat rearing with 7 goats. Due to the high mortality rate caused by diseases among animals, they could hardly increase the number of goats by one or two annually. In 2015, Abdul enrolled in #Farmer_Field_School (FFS), a special programme that helps farmers in CHT improve their income, initiated through #Agriculture and #Food_Security Project in the CHT Phase II, implemented by UNDP Bangladesh through Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Facility (#CHTDF) and financially supported by Danida. At the time of enrolment Adbul and Romesha had only nine goats. In the #Farmer_Field_School Abdul learned how to improve management of his goat rearing business and when and which vaccines he needs to provide for the animals. Only one year later the family had 24 goats, 18 of them sold to increase household income. We have to agree this is a very impressive result for a hard working family. UNDP and Danida are putting increased efforts to help other farmers in the CHT region reach economic growth by providing them new skills and knowledge through Farmer Field School programme. 19 July AT 01:04 AM
- "See more posts on"UNDP Bangladesh on Facebook