Japan government and UNDP to raise Tsunami awareness and preparedness for school children

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Cox’s Bazar, 01 March, 2018- The coastal belt of Bangladesh is vulnerable to Tsunami, but people of the coastal areas are not aware of it, especially the children are at high risk. To raise the awareness and preparedness on Tsunami, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government of Japan arranged drills for school children on 1st March in Cox’s Bazar.

Almost 230,000 people died in 2004 Tsunami, that hit Sumatra island, Indonesia. After this one of the deadliest Tsunami, UNDP, with financial support from Japan, has been working in 18 countries including Bangladesh to raise Tsunami awareness among the school children.

Under this initiative, UNDP in association with the Department of Disaster Management of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, identified five most vulnerable schools in Cox’s Bazar and Maheshkhali districts and has been working to raise the awareness of the children about Tsunami. As part of that, on 1st March a drill and art competition were organized at Madhya Kurushkul government primary school, where the Director General of the Department of Disaster Management Md Reaz Ahmed, attended the drill as the chief guest.

While speaking at the event, Md Reaz said, “Among many other disasters, Tsunami is a new disaster for Bangladesh. We only got to know about this after the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. Bangladesh government has already taken many initiatives to minimize the loss, if Tsunami hits. We are also working with our development partners to raise the awareness among the coastal people. Besides that, government has introduced a helpline-1090, where people can find information about weather or natural disasters anytime a day from any mobile without any charge.” He further added, cyclone centers are built for safe places during Tsunami and with support from Japan government, we are working with UNDP to prepare the school children. We hope to continue this in future. “

Dr. ASM Maksud Kamal, Professor, Disaster Science and Management, University of Dhaka said, “Many people from the coastal areas, haven’t heard about Tsunami yet. Though there is low risk of Tsunami in Bangladesh but still steps should be taken to keep the poor and marginalized people of the coastal areas safe, if Tsunami hits”.

UNDP Bangladesh, Country Director, Sudipto Mukerjee in his speech said, “Coastal areas are always vulnerable to many disasters like cyclone, landslide, tidal surge etc. There is another threat, called Tsunami, which can be dangerous if occurs in the sea.” Sudipto also said, “School-aged children and students can make a significant contribution to enhancing the awareness and preparedness of a community simply by sharing the knowledge with their family members.”

 

Among others, Khurshid Alam, Assistant Country Director UNDP, Arif Abdullah Khan, Programme Analyst, UNDP, Afreen Khan, National Consultant, UNDP, Naoki Matsumara, representative from JICA, Director Saidur Rahman, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC), Dr. Muhammad Shah Alam and Dr Mohammad Asad Hussain from BUET and the representatives from the local government were also present at the event. 

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For more information: Md Abdul Quayyum, UNDP, Email-md.quayyum@undp.org , cell-+8801715025551

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