Gov’t Nears Completion of Urban Resilience Project to Strengthen Emergency Response

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Gov’t Nears Completion of Urban Resilience Project to Strengthen Emergency Response

The government is finalizing a significant project to enhance its capacity to respond to emergencies and fortify building construction against disasters in Dhaka and Sylhet. Launched in 2013 with financial assistance from the World Bank, the Urban Resilience Project (URP) focuses on preparing for disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and waterlogging.

The project seeks to boost the capabilities of institutions to adopt modern technologies and train skilled personnel to manage emergencies effectively. It also aims to reduce the risk of vulnerable buildings and installations in Dhaka and Sylhet by reinforcing existing frameworks.

Key implementing agencies of the URP include Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, Disaster Management Bureau, Project Coordination and Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Planning, Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation, Fire Service and Civil Defence, and Sylhet City Corporation.

On Wednesday, the URP authorities held a validation workshop on the draft report of the project’s strategic evaluation in the capital. Planning Division Senior Secretary Satyajit Karmaker attended the event as the chief guest.

Dr. Nurun Nahar, additional secretary and project director of URP, presented the keynote address. She highlighted various accomplishments under the project, such as establishing the Emergency Response and Communication Centre, National Disaster Management Research and Training Institute, and multiple training centers. Other achievements include setting up Emergency Operations Centres, DRM offices, Zonal Control Rooms, Command and Control Rooms, constructing warehouses, and procuring emergency communication technology equipment.

The project also equipped authorities with Search and Rescue gear, including drones, water rescue vehicles, breathing apparatuses, turntable ladders, and personal protective equipment. Additional developments include renovating and equipping DDM buildings, providing training and drill services for national and local organizations, and supporting emergency risk management, planning, policy, and decision-making.

Plans have been made to use Hazard Micro-zonation Maps and Risk Sensitive Land Use Maps for future risk reduction, aligned with Detailed Area Plans. Dr. Nahar also emphasized the importance of enforcing the Bangladesh National Building Code 2020 and undertaking activities related to urban development strategies.

Speaking as a special guest, Abul Kashem Md Mohiuddin, secretary of the planning ministry’s Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division, noted that while the URP will conclude this month with World Bank funding, the Bangladesh government will continue to utilize and expand on the project’s results. He affirmed that the government would sustain and mainstream these initiatives.

Yasir Monon
Yasir Monon
Online Editor, Business Mirror

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