DHAKA, March 28 (BSS)-Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak today said height and strength of existing embankments along the coastal belt need to be increased as tidal surge of incoming cyclones is likely to be higher than the previous tropical storms.
"Maintenance of these 50 years old embankments is presently a major challenge to disaster preparedness efforts," he said while holding a meeting with Special Representative of United Nation's Secretary General Margareta Wahlstrom in the conference of the ministry at Bangladesh Secretariat here.
During the meeting, the minister urged development partners to step forward for helping the government in maintaining the costal embankments and building more cyclone shelters.
"The government is facing difficulties in continuing the task due to its limited resources," he said.
The minister informed the special representative that presently there are 3,000 cyclone shelters in the costal belt and construction of another 2,000 is going on. "But these cyclone shelters are not adequate to protect the huge number of inhabitants in the costal areas," he said.
Wahlstrom said the drastic declining trend of death toll in cyclones in Bangladesh has proved that the country achieved huge success in disaster preparedness. "The disaster management of Bangladesh has been appreciated across the globe," she said.
She wanted to gather knowledge about the coordination mechanism of different ministries of Bangladesh during natural calamities.
Additional secretary of the ministry M Abdul Wazed gave a presentation describing aspects and features of various disaster risk reduction efforts of the Bangladesh government and its associate organizations.
National Project Director of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) M Abdul Qaiyum presented various activities of his project.
Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Dr M Aslam Alam, Fisheries and livestock Secretary Ujjal Bikash Dutta, UN Resident Representative Christa Rader and UNDP Deputy Country Director Robert Juhkam also attended the meeting, among others.