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Dialing into disaster risk reduction in BANGLADESH through introducing digital early warning system for fishermen in Cox’s Bazar

The CARE project team started holding consultation meetings with stakeholders (e.g. District Administration, Cox’s Bazar Boat Owner Association, fishermen community, local WMD office, Airtel, CSRL and CGC). These meetings helped CARE to understand the vulnerability, risk and capacities of the poor fishermen communities and associations (the Vice President of the Boat Owner Association had personally experienced of losing a boat during  rough weather), as well as to introduce the intervention’s objectives, activities, target, overall approach, target beneficiaries, duration etc. It also helped to strongly engage stakeholders, in particular the beneficiary community, in decision making and implementation from the onset of the project.

In a meeting with the community, the boat owner Rashid Alam shared a story with the project team about his uncle, Nabi Hossain’s recent experience: He went fishing into the deep sea and lost control of the boat due to the sudden change of weather and functional disorder of the boat engine.  Nabi Hossain and his crew had to spend three days at sea without any food and water before being rescued as there was no device to locate the boat in the mid-sea.  Later on, they were rescued by a fishing boat.

This project will provide fishermen like Nabi Hossain with a digital early warning system that will prevent them being surprised by rough weather.

Furthermore, the project team has selected intervention areas and visited them to introduce the project to all key stakeholders.

Next steps planned include, holding a project inception meeting in Cox’s Bazar with presence of project stakeholders, capacity and vulnerability assessment of 24 fishing communities in the coastal region to ensure effective use of the system, and working with CGC and AIRTEL for analysis of past and current available information and satellite data on the trends of storm systems in the Bay of Bengal.

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