A People Centered Early Warning system specifically designed to address the needs of selected fishing communities in Cox’s Bazaar

Organisation: CARE International

Partners: Telecom service provider Airtel Bangladesh Ltd; City Cell Ltd; Systems Solutions & Development Technologies Ltd; Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood/Oxfam; Centre for Global Change; Bangladesh Telephone Regulatory Commission; Government of Bangladesh

Location: Bangladesh

Type of grant: Core – implementation

Status: Completed

  • A fisherman demonstrating to a CARE staff member how he would operate the device during an emergency.

  • Fishermen of Bonder Para who had been caught by the sea storms, nearly drowned several times and faced serious challenges

  • Fishermen of West Kutubdia para sharing account of socio-economic conditions and identifying vulnerabilities and risks

  • The Project Technical Team facilitated discussion with the Village Development Committee (VDC) members and loocal fishermen at Middle Kutubdia Village

  • Visit to fishing community of West Kutubdia para, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

  • proposed vessel tracking system for weather forecasting

  • Pic_2_Meeting with boat association of Cox'sBazar

  • Pic_ 1_ Sharining meeting with Boat association, Cox'sBazar

  • IMG_6363

  • Collecting Baseline Survey Information


Summary: The project addresses the need for sufficient lead time on warnings of rough sea events through satellite-based weather signals. This enables fishermen to make sound decisions for their journeys back to shore. The digital tracking of fishing vessels also allows for more efficient and precise rescue missions in the event of capsizing. This innovation helps to protect the lives and livelihoods of fishermen who are vulnerable to frequent and severe weather events at sea. By providing timely and reliable early warning information, loss of lives and damage to property, and thus the need for humanitarian response, is reduced. Community capacity in early warning and DRR is being strengthened through training and adoption of this system, thereby promoting a proactive rather than reactive approach to disaster.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Weak existing early warning systems (EWS) in Cox’s Bazar District that fail to provide reliable and timely life-saving information.
  • Lack of satellite-based weather signals to allow sufficient time on warnings of rough sea events.
  • Lack of digital tracking of fishing vessels to allow for more efficient and precise rescue missions in the event of capsizing.
  • Storms/rough weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal resulting in loss of lives/livelihood, damage to property, and high dependency on humanitarian response among coastal communities in Cox’s Bazar.
  • Weak community capacity in early warning and disaster risk reduction (DRR) resulting in a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to disaster.

Innovation Factor: Introduction and implementation of a digital early warning system through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) for improved tracking fishing vessels and disseminating early warning messages to fishermen. In combination with community-based DRR measures, this product supports communities, private sector partners, local/national level GoB to establish an effective an EWS for poor coastal fishing communities that is expected to be transferred to local and national institutions for scale-up.

Added Value: This project reduces loss of lives and livelihoods and caters to the need for humanitarian assistance. The project strengthens target communities’ resilience and capacity to prepare for and reduce the risk related to rough weather conditions. It also helps to document and disseminate learning and best practices to promote community-based EWS. The project includes DRR capacity building in target communities. The digital early warning system is expected to be transferred to local and national institutions for scale-up.

Innovation Phases Description: Implementation phase.

Key Deliverables / Impact: The project targets 300 boats and approximately 3,000 fishermen residing in 24 communities of Cox’s Bazar District in the Bay of Bengal – home to approximately 20,000 people who will benefit from education and training on DRR and EWS. CARE will collect and disseminate learning through Monitoring & Evaluation workshops and meetings with relevant stakeholders and will conduct evidence-based advocacy to raise awareness at sub-national and national levels amongst fishing communities, GoB and the private sector.


Summary: The project addresses the need for sufficient lead time on warnings of rough sea events through satellite-based weather signals. This enables fishermen to make sound decisions for their journeys back to shore. The digital tracking of fishing vessels also allows for more efficient and precise rescue missions in the event of capsizing. This innovation helps to protect the lives and livelihoods of fishermen who are vulnerable to frequent and severe weather events at sea. By providing timely and reliable early warning information, loss of lives and damage to property, and thus the need for humanitarian response, is reduced. Community capacity in early warning and DRR is being strengthened through training and adoption of this system, thereby promoting a proactive rather than reactive approach to disaster.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Weak existing early warning systems (EWS) in Cox’s Bazar District that fail to provide reliable and timely life-saving information.
  • Lack of satellite-based weather signals to allow sufficient time on warnings of rough sea events.
  • Lack of digital tracking of fishing vessels to allow for more efficient and precise rescue missions in the event of capsizing.
  • Storms/rough weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal resulting in loss of lives/livelihood, damage to property, and high dependency on humanitarian response among coastal communities in Cox’s Bazar.
  • Weak community capacity in early warning and disaster risk reduction (DRR) resulting in a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to disaster.

Innovation Factor: Introduction and implementation of a digital early warning system through General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) for improved tracking fishing vessels and disseminating early warning messages to fishermen. In combination with community-based DRR measures, this product supports communities, private sector partners, local/national level GoB to establish an effective an EWS for poor coastal fishing communities that is expected to be transferred to local and national institutions for scale-up.

Added Value: This project reduces loss of lives and livelihoods and caters to the need for humanitarian assistance. The project strengthens target communities’ resilience and capacity to prepare for and reduce the risk related to rough weather conditions. It also helps to document and disseminate learning and best practices to promote community-based EWS. The project includes DRR capacity building in target communities. The digital early warning system is expected to be transferred to local and national institutions for scale-up.

Innovation Phases Description: Implementation phase.

Key Deliverables / Impact: The project targets 300 boats and approximately 3,000 fishermen residing in 24 communities of Cox’s Bazar District in the Bay of Bengal – home to approximately 20,000 people who will benefit from education and training on DRR and EWS. CARE will collect and disseminate learning through Monitoring & Evaluation workshops and meetings with relevant stakeholders and will conduct evidence-based advocacy to raise awareness at sub-national and national levels amongst fishing communities, GoB and the private sector.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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