While efforts are on-going to seek approval from the Bangladesh NGO Affairs Bureau, the project team is also exploring alternative solutions by reviewing the early warning framework in place. Currently, the legal provision in the Disaster Management Act 2012 prohibits all and any institutions/body except the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) from the generation of forecasts and dissemination of early warning. Under the Comprehensive Disaster Management Program, Bangladesh has also signed an agreement with RIMES (Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia) to support the BMD with weather/extreme weather events forecasting, numerical weather prediction, storm surge modeling, concurrent monitoring of Depressions and Cyclone Formation and Tracking and development of Pre-Impact Assessment Tools. Given these modalities in place, the HIF project team has began to explore the availability of space to operate and add value in the overall efforts to support vulnerable fishing communities in the selected project areas.
The project team also held meetings with district level Bangladesh Coast Guard officials and the Union Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) of Kuruskul Union Parishad, Cox’s Bazar sadar. These meetings were held to continue updating the key stakeholders on latest developments and not lose any momentum given the delays in project start-up. The project team uses every opportunity to stress our commitment to help the vulnerable fishing communities. The Bangladesh Coast Guards are responsible for ensuring law and order along the coast and they were very appreciative of the team and its efforts to collaborate with them.
The meeting with the Union Disaster Management Committee (UDMC) on the other hand, was to familiarise the committee members and the project team of each other’s responsibilities and establish areas for collaboration and mutual support. The UDMC consists of the Union Parishad Chairman, members of all the Government department heads at Union level, members of Union Parishad, NGO leaders working in respective union and civil society members. The Union Parishad is the smallest rural administrative and local government unit and is responsible to coordinate, review and implement the disaster management activities of the concerned Union.
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