Former adviser to a caretaker government Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury yesterday called for starting formal education on disaster management in the universities of the country.
He was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of a workshop on 'National Plan for Disaster Management' at the Biam auditorium in the city.
The workshop was organised by Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) which is preparing the national plan in collaboration with the UNDP.
Prof Jamilur also the vice-chancellor of Brac University, said the country is more efficient than any other developed country in disaster management but we should further develop the skill and we need to create professionals in this field.
“ Not many universities across the globe have opened disaster management as a formal discipline. So we have to be the pioneer in disaster management education,” he added.
Prof Jamilur, an expert in disaster management, also said collaboration between the governmental and non-governmental organisations is needed in disaster management.
He said the country is already recognised as highly efficient in disaster management and this was also recognised by the US media during the hurricane Katrina that hit Florida recently.
“We now need to enhance our capacity in the field,” he added.
Additional Secretary to food and disaster management ministry AKM Abdul Awal Majumder said it is difficult to handle the disaster management programmes.
He called for coordination among the ministries that are related to disaster management saying every stakeholder should be included in the disaster management plan.
He also called for starting campaign for creating awareness among the people.
He said his ministry will launch a campaign very soon in the school and colleges in the capital to raise awareness about earthquake.
Speaking as chair the DMB director general said, “With the new plan for disaster management we want to bring a paradigm shift in the disaster management process by more focusing on risk reduction with pre-disaster assessments rather than rushing to the disaster-hit areas with relief.”
“The new policy will focus risk reduction, capacity building, livelihood security, gender mainstreaming and many other aspects,” the DG added.
Chief Technical Adviser of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) Ian Rector, and UNDP representative Tariqul Islam also spoke in the programme.