Disaster Management as an Opportunity for Sustainable Rural Development: In Jahangirnagar Planning Review, Vol. 2, June 2004
Necessity is the mother of invention. This is very much true in disaster management and development activities in Bangladesh. As a part of policy matters of government of Bangladesh disaster management efforts have been integrated into the process of national development. Flood protection embankments are
used as roads and in some cases as a portion of national road network system. Cyclone centres are used for multipurpose activities of community and rural development. Schools in coastal areas have been designed to be used as cyclone shelters in case of necessity. Houses and other structures are built on high lands to protect them from flood and improved construction materials and design are used for structural strengthening to withstand gust of windstorm resulting in long-term durability. Hospitals and clinics have been constructed in every union. Repeated floods also forced researchers to develop a new variety of winter Boro paddy which is grown during dry season. Extreme drought from October to April opened the technique of tubewell irrigation using groundwater. Millions of hand tubewells have also been installed to
supply fresh water round the year to meet domestic needs which have drastically reduced the mortality rate due to water borne diseases. The above and many such instances confirm that flood, drought and cyclone disasters have created opportunity and urgency for national economic and social development in Bangladesh. Based on secondary sources of information and relevant published materials, this paper is an attempt to evaluate the measures of mitigating three types of natural hazards i.e. flood, windstorm and drought and potentials of such measures as an opportunity for sustainable rural development.
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