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In February 2013, the CARE project team continued engaging all major stakeholders in selecting bids for the digital device as well as overall coordination. These stakeholders include Systems Solutions and Development Technologies Ltd., with whom we coordinate on technical issues, as well as Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood/Oxfam, Centre for Global Change, various Government of Bangladesh Ministries, and the Boat Owner’s and Fishermen Associations. CARE will sign memorandums of understanding to set out roles and responsibilities with these.

As a particular highlight, the CARE Assistant Country Director, Alex McIean, and the Chief of Party for the SHOUHARDO II project, Mark Nosbach, visited fishermen in Cox’s Bazar and discussed the project with them.

Furthermore, to learn more about the current situation of fishermen in Cox’s Bazar, the CARE project team conducted a focus group discussion with the Cox’s Bazar Fishermen Association. Fishermen shared that, current early warning system can only give them storm warnings 48h in advance, but they actually need a 7 day forecast, because they can be in the deep sea for several days. Also, the current warnings are inaccurate, only using a simple categorisation of storms. With the digital early warning system that this projects aims to provide, fishermen will be able to stay on sea longer, increasing the yield and thus, their income.

On the other hand, the reliability of the telecommunication network in the project area varies. This is a challenge, because the network is crucial for success of this project. So, we will need to find a way to manage this.

Finally, the CARE project team advance with selecting fishermen to participate in the project, based on criteria agreed with stakeholders. These include: (1) fishermen whose family is particularly vulnerable, (2) fishermen who have a valid license, (3) fishermen who have a boat that is suitable to install the early warning equipment etc.

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