Reassessing our effort in combating Hurricane Sidr November 27, 2007Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Sidr.
Tags: Hurricane Sidr
[Personal observation] With the recovery of the initial shock of the catastrophe of Sidr, we can now reassess our effort in combating the hurricane.
As was said , Sidr was one of the fiercest cyclone hit our land in the line of 1970 and 1991 where the number of death was 3,00,000 and 1,50,000 in contrast to 5000 this time. If one compares the number of deaths and devastation it caused, one could acknowledge the impact of initial management before and during the hurricane.
Taking shelter and to remain safe is the first aim of the cyclone affected people. Though the early warning system that was employed by the authority waas appreciated by many, still it was 100% perfect. Many people in the land of the affected area were not informed of the warning where there was no radio and the fishermen who were out in the sea couldn’t be informed because they were not allowed to keep the radio with them.
Even many people didn’t pay timely heed to the warning as the some of the earlier warnings didn’t turned into reality. The warning could be more specific with location, the direction of hurricane, the speed and time of hit. Some people returned back from the cyclone shelter as the cyclone was taking more time than their expectation. In addition the warning in the TV and radio, local sirene and miking could be utilized to aware the people.
The number of cyclone shelters were found to be inadequate and also it is not uniformly distributed. Some are old and required renovation. More are to be construct with greater height and strength.. Multi-purpose shelter centers with adequate strength should be prepared. Shelter is also need for the live stocks.
It is reported that the protective dams along the costal belt is not uninterrupted. In many areas it is disrupted and is not of adequate height. As the height of water surge was 15 to 29 feet high, the dam should be reconstructed atleast upto 20 feet high.
Immediately after the cyclone and surge, rescue of the people is important .Rescue begins with the survived people in search of their kith and kin. As the devastation was massive, our rescue operation also took longer time. Still many people are missing, many bodies are floating in the water. Were our rescue operation was rapid and effective, Though our effort was magnified buy the participation of the Army, many may doubt the overall perfection.
Relief effort :
The task of relief is a gigantic one. You need to reach the affected people approximately lcs in number on the very first day from the angle of urgency where some of the area are inaccessible, some requires waterway and some may need helicopter service. The civil government trued to over the impossible by the support of the army, navy and air force.
It takes days even for the army to reach the remotest area. To keep the continuity of the relief is another indaunting task which is not possible for the government to bear singularly. Here comes the need of participation of all of the nation. All people, including the businessmen responded wholeheartedly but the response from our politicians were reserve. As the scale of devastation was high and the relief may be needed for months together for millions so different countries and international organizations extended their support which is praiseworthy. A good coordination and full commitment on the part of the government and volunteers are needed to make the relief work successful. The government has already decided to introduce VGP card for relief for 26 people for 3 months.
Rehabilation is also a long tem effort. The Government declared many schemes for rehabilitation of the affected persons. The people will be given soft loans for their businesses. The banks were asked to erase the interests and delay the recovery. The NGOs also decided not to recollect their loan.
Support for housing would be needed.
Special allocation has been made for building the educational institutions.
Road, Dams and culverts will be needed to be reconstruct for economic activity, for relief work and for economic development.
Maximum utilization of relief fund and prevention of pilferage:
The government should try to utilize the fund from internal and external sources and prevent any pilferage.
Media both print and electronic is playing a laudable role in combating the aftermath of sidr. They are vitually working as the advanced colum inthe rescue and relief operation. Some complain of exageration was made from the Law and Information Adviser Barrister Moinul Hussain. But there is also little room for the government to feel complascence.
The media should not only cover the distress of the people, they should also highlight the contribution of different action groups governmental and non- governmental in the report. Though differentNGOs are working parrallel to the government agencies, their effort was not highlighted in the media.
Disease, prevention and treatment:
The diarrhoea and other waterborn diseases will gradually increase in number and may pose a dangerous challenge to the authority. There is big scarcity of pure water throughout the area and government could not yet able to ensure pure drinking water to the many areas. The number of medical teams in the paper is imressive but the actual number of working doctor is still inadequate and the remote area is less covered.
In the background of this great disaster and distress, we hope that people of Bangladesh will stand up on their feet earlir than expected.
An ordinary citizen