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Timely weather and flood forecast information is crucial for Bangladesh’s sustainable development

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 30th November, 2021 06:10:11 PM
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Speakers at a workshop said timely weather and flood forecast information is crucial for Bangladesh’s sustainable development.

USAID funded SHOUHARDO III program, implemented by CARE Bangladesh, joined with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) and co-organized this workshop to share learnings and experiences from a recently phased-out project on early weather and flood advisories on Sunday. 

Md Mohsin, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, attended this workshop as the Chief Guest. Engr Fazlur Rashid, Director General, Bangladesh Water Development Board, and Ellen de Guzman, Director, Office of Food, Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance (OFDA), USAID Bangladesh, were present as Special Guests. 

Ramesh Singh, Country Director of CARE Bangladesh, presided over this event. Among others, Marc Nosbach, Chief of Party, SHOUHARDO III, Raihanul Haque Khan, Country Program Lead, RIMES, and other officials from USAID, SHOUHARDO III and RIMES were present.

While delivering his speech as the Chief Guest, Md Mohsin, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, appreciated the community-driven forecast information dissemination of SHOUHARDO III and RIMES. He mentioned that, monsoon floods and flash floods have different characteristics, therefore, he emphasized on adopting different action plans to manage either of them. 

“There should be a 15-day forecast for the monsoon flood and 3-day forecast ready for the flash flood”, he added. 

He also mentioned about the necessity of information dissemination of the learnings to take the shared experience forward from the grassroot level to the policy level.

In the presentation Raihanul Haque Khan on key achievements and lessons from the ‘Improved Weather and Flood Information System for Community Based Risk and Resource Management in Bangladesh’ project he listed operationalization of long-lead (15-days) streamflow forecasting, Upazila weather forecasts through ‘Upazila Weather Portal’, Upazila-specific iconographic forecast products, and development of the Disaster Management Committee Portal as key achievements. 

He also mentioned, “Upazila-specific iconographic forecast products need to be scaled up across the country. The experimental 15 days' forecast proved to be very useful in detecting flood events 10–12 days ahead”.

During his speech as Special Guest, Engr Fazlur Rashid, Director General, Bangladesh Water Development Board, mentioned, “Timely weather and flood forecast information is crucial for Bangladesh’s sustainable development. Bangladesh Water Development Board has been working towards effective forecast-based and early warning information in Bangladesh.” 

He also appreciated CARE Bangladesh’s interventions toward forecast-based and early preparedness information for the people of Bangladesh.

Special Guest Ellen de Guzman, Director, OFDA, USAID Bangladesh stated, “USAID Bangladesh recognizes the need to work towards preventing climate change and take preventive measures for disasters by building resilience of the people in those areas.” 

She appreciated the efforts of the Bangladesh Government for making significant progress in terms of disaster preparedness and early warning over the past years as well as SHOUHARDO III and RIMES for the way the project supported the program participants.

Ramesh Singh, Country Director, CARE Bangladesh, stated about the two pillars of disaster management as leveraging science and bringing community knowledge together and building infrastructure. He mentioned that this combination of two as soft and hard knowledge. He shared his gratitude for the joint forces of the partnership of USAID mission, CARE Bangladesh and RIMES in making disaster management possible for the poor.

SHOUHARDO III program and RIMES jointly implemented 'Improved Weather and Flood Information System for Community Based Risk and Resource Management in Bangladesh' from July 2019 to September 2021. 

The project was implemented in 15 unions of 13 sub-districts under the eight SHOUHARDO III districts of char and haor regions, targeting 10,000+ people from the livelihood groups of agriculture and livestock. 

This project made an effort to enable risk and resource management in poor and extreme poor communities by providing community-focused and multi-sectoral action-oriented forecast information that will enhance their resilience and eventually reduce livelihood risks.