State minister for disaster management and relief Md Enamur Rahman at a discussion on Saturday said the government was going to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency soon to make the country disaster resilient.
The Department of Disaster Management organised the discussion in cooperation with a consortium which implements a project funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Civil protection, marking International Day for Disaster Reduction 2019.
Enamur said he has invited JICA with the prime minister’s consent as Japan was experienced to deal with most deadly disasters like earthquake.
He said JICA team informed him that they needed 30 years to make Japan disaster resilient from a vulnerable country and he though Bangladesh might need 50 years for achieving the goal.
He did not elaborate the functions and process on how the government would work with JICA but said that the ministry of housing and public works, the local government, and disaster management ministry would be collaborated with the move.
The minister said the government already taken some initiatives including establishment of a National Emergency Response Centre at Tejgaon.
‘Government has established 11,406 resilient houses, 23 houses are under construction and three lakhs more houses would be established,’ he said.
Enamur said Bangladesh has lacks structural resilience as most stockholders work for awareness issues.
Dhaka Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness Enhancing Resilience project, aimed to enhance earthquake and emergency preparedness for 1.6 million people, was being implemented by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, German Red Cross, Christian Aid Bangladesh, Action Against Hunger, British Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross.
Representatives of the agencies among others were present at the discussion.
They said millions of people of the country were under disaster vulnerability as disaster resilient structures were not being built in Bangladesh till now.
Senior secretary of the ministry Shah Kamal said the government should monitor quality of construction materials for constructing earthquake resilient buildings.
Department of Disaster Management director general Shahadat Hossain, Christian Aid’s Shahna Hayat, German Red Cross’s Ead Becirevic spoke at the event, among others.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Foreign affairs