Vol. 5 Num 1129 Fri. August 03, 2007  
Front Page

Few people come forward to help flood victims
Says Adviser Tapan

Food and Disaster Management Adviser Tapan Chowdhury yesterday said limited number of people have come forward to help the flood-affected people of the country but he expects more people to come forward soon.

"People are coming in aid of the flood-affected people, but it is limited. I am sure they will help their fellow brothers and sisters," he said at a joint press briefing of the flood and disaster management and local government and rural development ministries at the latter's conference room yesterday.

Tapan, however, said he does not think that such limited response from people is due to the state of emergency.

Asked if political parties could help the flood-affected people, he said all are welcome to help those who are in need. But it does not need a political banner, he added.

In reply to a question, Tapan said the flood situation is not severe enough for the government to appeal for international help. "At this level, we can manage but of course, we would appeal to the international community for help if the situation demands."

There are scopes for NGOs and other voluntary organisations to be incorporated in the district level relief and rehabilitation committees and they are coming forward, Tapan added.

Local Government and Rural Development Adviser Anwarul Iqbal said Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK announced granting Tk 7 crore more to a livelihood project in the char areas of the Jamuna basin.

This money will be distributed to the people as relief under the project, he said, adding that the European Union also announced $2 million as relief, which would be distributed through NGOs.

As attention was drawn to Tapan's comment on Wednesday that the extent of damage to embankments and bridges could have been limited if the administration acted on time, Anwarul Iqbal said the allocation for the Water Development Board was insufficient for the projects.

Efforts should have concentrated in repairing vulnerable points of embankments and bridges, but no project could be fully implemented as the allocated money was spent by projects all over the country, he added.