The month of September 2013 was spent in a series of meetings and discussions to explore collaboration with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) and the Comprehensive Disaster Management Program (CDMP) Bangladesh, while attempts were made to meet the Joint Secretary of Disaster Management & Relief.
Feedback from the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) and the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief included suggestions to have the project more integrated with National mechanisms in place and also consider the possibility of working with CDMP. Therefore CARE and RIMES decided to test the viability using the same device – Vehicle Tracking Service (VTS) proposed by the project to disseminate the early warning messages. One unit of the VTS was sent to the RIMES lab in Bangkok for testing for compatibility. The two organisations decided to consider using the same device in order to reduce end-user costs.
While the CARE project intended to pilot the device in 300 boats, the CDMP project intended to reach out to 1000 fishing boats. Both projects aim to reach out and provide early warning messages to fishermen at sea and the difference was that the HIF project had also incorporated social mobilisation and vessel tracking components. However both parties were unable to proceed any further since the RIMES/CDMP project was waiting for approval from the Defense Ministry to begin implementation.
Considering the developing situation, CARE Bangladesh met key partner AirTel Bangladesh and decided that the latter will take sole responsibility to review, adapt and procure the VTS. The AirTel representatives were keen to continue working on the project since they had installed eight towers in the coastal region.
At the field level the project team met with fishing community, fishermen association and boat owner’s association leaders in order to keep them updated on current status of project approval and progress to date.
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