Disaster responders and researchers said on Monday that early warning of river erosion could avert loss of livelihoods in the erosion-prone areas of the country.
Addressing a dissemination meeting on river bank erosion vulnerability and early warning, they said that comprehensive initiatives by the government, non-government agencies and community people were crucial to mitigate risks of river bank erosion.
Department of Disaster Management, BRAC and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services jointly organised the meeting at BRAC Centre Inn in Dhaka.
The discussants said that the planning for proper rehabilitation of the victims would be easier if the disaster warning was calculated and disseminated early.
This year, CEGIS had forecast severe river erosion at 29 points of Jamuna, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Padma river basins in Kurigram, Bogra, Rajbari and Shariatpur districts.
The early warning was calculated after analysing dry season time-series satellite images, researchers said.
Maminul Haque Sarker, deputy executive director of CEGIS, said that the forecast was finalised and made public in May, two months after the speculated time, due to delay in meetings with Bangladesh Water Development Board.
Jahangirnagar University’s geography and environment professor Mohammad Shamsul Alam stressed the need for disseminating early warning by March every year so that the riverine poor people could take preparations before losing their valuables and livelihoods.
He said that the government should ensure the erosion victims their land rights and job security as part of the rehabilitation programmes.
Moderated by BRAC’S disaster management and climate change programme director Gawher Nayeem Wahra, the meeting was also addressed by Sudipta Kumar Hore, Abdul Matin Sarker, Farhin Khan, Syeda Meherunnessa, and KAM Morshed.
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