Under World Bank funded Urban Resilience Project of Bangladesh, 19 steel structured warehouses have been built at different locations of the capital and needed equipment have been stored in them to facilitate speedy rescue activities in the event of fire breaking out or earthquakes striking.
The WB funded the project to strengthen the capacity of government agencies to respond to emergency events and to strengthen systems to reduce the vulnerabilities in the aftermath of disasters.
The warehouses were built to store equipment for emergency rescue, search and run training programmes for officials, volunteers and locals.
The steel structured warehouses have been equipped with 53 items for emergence disaster management response, including hydraulic bottle jacks, generators, beacon search lights, fire extinguishers, heavy duty ropes, head lights, body bags, Nato stretchers, hi visibility vests, water containers with dispensers, tents, water purifiers and first aid boxes with items.
Eleven warehouses have been attached to fire stations, five have been built close to the zonal offices of Dhaka North City Corporation and three near the zonal offices of Dhaka South City Corporation.
The warehouses have been handed over the Fire Service and the two city corporations.
Disaster management experts told New Age that the warehouses would facilitate speedy response in the aftermaths of disasters if the authorities engaged trained personnel for the operations.
DNCC superintending engineer and urban resilience project director Tarik Bin Yusuf told New Age that it cost between Tk 80 lakh to one core to construct each steel-structure warehouse depending on it size.
He said that search and rescue equipment worth Tk eight to 10 lakh had been stored in each warehouse.
He said that zonal disaster management committees had been formed comprising of cell for coordination as well as rescue and search activities.
He said that separate cells had been created for assessing damage caused by disaster as well as for providing logistic support to the rescuers and a communication and information cell to provide correct information to the victims’ relatives.
He said that concerned government and NGO officials and experts had been included in the committees.
He said that equipment for rescue operations were selected taking lessons from the Rana Plaza collapse.
Dhaka University institute of disaster management and vulnerability studies professor Mahbuba Nasreen said that such warehouses were needed but to utilize them would require trained manpower, proper maintenance and holding area wise disaster drills involving local communities.
Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence director general Brigadier General Ali Ahmed Khan said light equipment would be very useful for saving lives and rescuing trapped people and heavy equipment could be needed at later stages.
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