The government is planning to build 12 ‘Mujib Kellas’ at Maheskhali island in Cox’s Bazar to minimise the consequences of growing natural disasters as the island is located at one of the most cyclone-prone areas in the country.
‘We sent a proposal to the ministry concerned to build 12 Mujib kellas in Maheskhali upazila and the ministry has already approved one Mujib kella…the tender process for building the kella is underway,’ Maheskhali upazila project implementation officer of the Disaster Management Department Md Rashedul Islam told the news agency.
The remaining kellas will be built in phases, he said, adding that every kella would be constructed with modern amenities, including solar power, improved toilet facility and rainwater harvesting system, so that people could get access to all necessary facilities during emergencies.
Apart from saving lives of people, Rashedul said that cattle shed would be set up in every kella so that locals could protect their livestock from natural disasters and cut down their disaster loss.
Cyclone hits Maheskhali island each year, forcing a huge number of people to take shelter at cyclone centres and damaging the lives and properties of local people.
The government had envisaged a plan to build a huge number of flood shelters and Mujib kellas in every union of costal and flood-prone districts to protect the lives and properties from natural calamities. The Mujib kella would be constructed on a high land having at least five acres of area so that disaster-hit people and their cattle heads could take shelter during emergencies.
Speaking at recent function, local parliament member (Kutubdia-Maheskhali) Ashequllah Rafiq said that the people of Maheskhali island had to live struggling against the natural disasters as it was one of the most disaster-prone upazilas in the country.
Recalling the two devastating cyclones that hit the island in 1967 and 1991, leaving a huge number of people dead, he said that the authorities concerned should build more cyclone shelter centres in the remote areas of the upazila aiming to save lives and assets of people from natural calamities.
With millions living along the vulnerable coast, Bangladesh had worked to improve storm preparedness and to issue evacuation orders early to avoid high death tolls as about three lakh people were killed in a single cyclone in 1970. When cyclone Sidr hit the Bangladesh’s coast in 2007, about 3,000 were reported killed.
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