Evaluate the legal and policy instrument of Bangladesh on disaster management
Bangladesh is a low-lying deltaic country in South Asia formed by the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna rivers. It is a land of about 144 million people within its 147,570 sq. km territory. More than 310 rivers and tributaries have made this country a land of rivers. Diversified cultural heritage, archaeological sites and natural beauty of the country have made this land attractive. The country has the world’s longest unbroken sandy beach of 120km, sloping gently down to the blue water of the Bay of Bengal. Around 52% percent of the civilian labour force of the country is engaged in agriculture and 14% is engaged in industry. Per capita GDP for 2002-2003 was US $ 418 (BBS, 2006).
Since independence in 1971, Bangladesh has achieved substantial improvements in some social indicators like decrease in infant and maternal mortality, and illiteracy, increase in life expectancy, access to safe water and sanitation. However, approximately 40% of the population continues to live below the poverty line (BBS, 2005). Economic performance of the country has been relatively strong since 1990, with an annual 5% average GDP growth rate. Although half of the GDP is generated through the service sector, nearly two thirds of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector with paddy as the single most important product.
Bangladesh’s Disaster Management Strategy
The present national strategy for disaster management, although in an early phase of implementation, is based on three key elements including:
a. Defining and redefining the risk environment, entailing systematic and improved hazard analysis and vulnerability/ community risk assessments; and risk treatment and ranking, including incorporation of climate change impacts;
b. Managing the risk environment, including achieving a good balance of risk reduction options; moving from generic hazard to risk specific programs, and; mainstreaming risk reduction across sectors through advocacy, policy and planning reform, and capacity building;
c. responding to the threat environment, including activating systems and mobilizing resources; utilizing vulnerability and risk databases for emergency response planning; and maintaining effective communications and early warning Systems
Disaster Management Model
Bangladesh has created a simplistic model to guide disaster risk reduction and emergency response management efforts in Bangladesh. The model has three key elements and ensures that the move to a more comprehensive risk reduction ulture remains central to all efforts.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN BANGLADESH
The Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) of the Government of Bangladesh has the responsibility for coordinating national disaster management efforts across all agencies. In January 1997 the Ministry issued the Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD) to guide and monitor disaster management activities in Bangladesh.
The Standing Orders have been prepared with the avowed objective of making the concerned persons understand their duties and responsibilities regarding disaster management at all levels, and accomplishing them. All Ministries, Divisions/Departments and Agencies shall prepare their own Action Plans in respect of their responsibilities under the Standing Orders for efficient implementation. The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) and Inter-Ministerial Disaster Management Coordination Committee (IMDMCC) will ensure coordination of disaster related activities at the National level. Coordination at district, upazila and union levels will be done by the respective District, Upazila and Union Disaster Management Committees. The Disaster Management Bureau will render all assistance to them by facilitating the process.
A series of inter-related institutions, at both national and sub-national levels have been created to ensure effective planning and coordination of disaster risk reduction and emergency response management.
At the national level
i. National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) headed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister to formulate and review the disaster management policies and issue directives to all concerns.
ii. Inter-Ministerial Disaster Management Co-ordination Committee (IMDMCC) headed by the Hon’ble Minister in charge of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) to implement disaster management policies and decisions of NDMC / Government.
iii. National Disaster Management Advisory Committee (NDMAC) headed by a experienced person having been nominated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
iv. Cyclone Preparedness Program Implementation Board (CPPIB) headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Food and Disaster Management to review the preparedness activities in the face of initial stage of an impending cyclone.
v. Disaster Management Training and Public Awareness Building Task Force (DMTATF) headed by the Director General of Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) to co-ordinate the disaster related training and public awareness activities of the Government, NGOs and other organizations.
vi. Focal Point Operation Coordination Group of Disaster Management (FPOCG) headed by the Director General of DMB to review and co-ordinate the Activities of various departments/ agencies related to disaster management and also to review the Contingency Plan prepared by concerned departments.
vii. NGO Coordination Committee on Disaster Management (NGOCC) headed by the Director General of DMB to review and co-ordinate the activities of concerned NGOs in the country.
viii. Committee for Speedy Dissemination of Disaster Related Warning/ Signals (CSDDWS) headed by the Director General of DMB to examine, ensure and find Out the ways and means for the speedy dissemination of warning/ signals among the people.
i. District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) headed by the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to co-ordinate and review the disaster management activities at the district level.
ii. Upazila Disaster Management Committee (UZDMC) headed by the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) to co-ordinate and review the disaster management activities at the Upazila level.
iii. Union Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) headed by the Chairman of the Union Parishad to co-ordinate, review and implement the disaster management activities of the concerned union.
iv. Pourashava Disaster Management Committee (PDMC) headed by Chairman of Pourashava (municipality) to co-ordinate, review and implement the disaster management activities within its area of jurisdiction.
v. City Corporation Disaster Management Committee (CCDMC) headed by the Mayor of City Corporations to coordinate, review and implement the disaster management activities within its area of jurisdiction.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT REGULATIVE FRAMEWORK
Bangladesh’s regulative framework for disaster management provides for the relevant legislative, policy and best practice framework under which the activity of Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Management in Bangladesh is managed and implemented.
National Disaster Management Policy
A National Disaster Management Policy will be formulated to define the national perspective on disaster risk reduction and emergency management, and to describe the strategic framework, and national principles of disaster management in Bangladesh. It will be of strategic in nature and will describe the broad national objectives, and strategies in disaster management.
Disaster Management Plans
The Bangladesh National Plan for Disaster Management is a strategic document to be effective for a certain period. This is an umbrella plan, which provides the overall guideline for the relevant sectors and the disaster management committees at all levels to prepare and implement their area of roles specific plans. The Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) being the focal ministry for disaster risk reduction and emergency management will take the lead role in disaster risk reduction and emergency management planning. Additionally, there will be a few hazards specific management plans, such as Flood Management Plan, Cyclone and Storm Surge and Tsunami Management Plan, Earthquake Management Plan, Drought Management Plan, River
Erosion Management Plan, etc. Moreover, there will be a detailed Disaster Management Plan for each District, Upazila, Union, Paurashava, and City Corporation of the country. A District Disaster Management Plan will be the compilation of the Upa-zila Disaster Management Plans of the district. Similarly a Upa-zila Disaster Management Plan will be the compilation of the union disaster management plans of that Upazila prepared by the Union DMCs. So DMCs at Union and Paurashava levels will be mainly responsible for conducting the risk assessments and prepare the ground level plans. Once developed those will be sent to the DMCs at one level higher – Upazila DMCs, whose role will be to verify and compile the union plans and identify the resource requirements for the Upazila.
Standing Orders on Disaster
The Standing Orders on Disaster describes the detailed roles and responsibilities of committees, Ministries and other organizations in disaster risk reduction and emergency management, and establishes the necessary actions required in implementing Bangladesh’s Disaster Management Model. The Standing Orders have been prepared with the avowed objective of making the concerned persons understand their duties and responsibilities regarding disaster management at all levels, and accomplishing them.
All Ministries, Divisions/Departments and Agencies shall prepare their own Action Plans in respect of their responsibilities under the Standing Orders for efficient implementation. The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) and Inter- Ministerial Disaster Management Coordination Committee (IMDMCC) will ensure coordination of disaster related activities at the National level. Coordination at district, Thana and union levels will be done by the respective District, Upazila and Union Disaster Management Committees. The Disaster Management Bureau will render all assistance to them by facilitating the process.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLANS
National Plan for Disaster Management
The National Plan for Disaster Management is prepared by the Ministry of Food and
Disaster Management. This plan should cover a way to culture of prevention that should be developed by introducing disaster management in school curriculum, including relevant aspects of disaster management in professional courses, enhancing the capacity of disaster managers by better training facilities and creating a massive awareness at all levels. Involving people at the grassroots, particularly those who are more vulnerable, for better preparedness and response, should encourage community level initiatives for disaster preparedness. Appropriate zonal regulations, design standards, building codes and performance specifications should be developed for safe constructions. All development schemes in vulnerable areas should include a disaster mitigation analysis, whereby the feasibility of a project is assessed with respect to vulnerability of the area. Disaster mitigation components should be built into all development projects, financed under the Plan, as part of approved project costs.
Followings are as key factors for enhancing sustainability of the disaster
• The existence of “culture of coping with crisis” and “culture of disaster reduction” exist
• Risk assessment process involves participation of people and incorporating their perception of vulnerability and capacity
• Community and supporting agencies share common motivation and ownership for the initiation and sustainability of CBDM
• Capacity building objectives, with specific focus on sectoral groups like women, elderly, children and ethnic minorities
• Well-delivered training inputs in accordance with the objectives of the plan and the needs of the community for training
• Wider stakeholder’s involvement and participation
• Accumulation of physical, technological and economic assets to reduce hazards
Corporate Plan of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management
(2005-2009): as a long-term strategy, the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management had developed the corporate plan a framework for action. The plan also followed by the strategic plan and operational plan of the different directorate of the ministry.
Purpose of the Corporate Plan
- Articulate the Ministry’s long-term Strategic Focus.
- Demonstrate a commitment to address key issues: risk reduction, capacity Building, climate change, food security, issues of gender and the socially disadvantaged.
- Show the relationship between the government vision, and the Moved mission, key result areas, goals and strategies, and to align priorities and strategies with international and national drivers for change.
- Detail a road map for the development of internal Strategic Plans for the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB), Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation (DRR), Director-General of Food (DGoF) and the Policy Programme and Partnership Development Unit (PPPDU).
- Guide the MoFDM in the development and delivery of programmes for which the MoFDM is accountable.
- Provide guidance to the MoFDM’s Executives in the formulation of programmes, and the allocation of budgets and resources.
- Illustrate to NGOs, other Ministries and civil society how their work can contribute to the achievements of the government vision, and how they can support the MoFDM goals.
- Inform about challenges, opportunities and risks that will have an impact on policies and practices.
- Provide a framework within which to report performance and success in achieving goals and strategies.