December 19, 2015
JICA, in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank, held the seminar on "Joint Launch of Urban Building Safety Project and Urban Resilience Project - An Integrated Approach to Enhance Urban Resilience in Bangladesh –" on December 19th, 2015. The seminar intends to jointly launch the Urban Resilience Project supported by the World Bank and the Urban Building Safety Project supported by JICA and to exchange the views on capturing the issues and solution for urban resilience in Bangladesh. The Honorable Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal of Ministry of Planning and mayors of Dhaka North and South City Corporation participated in the seminar and two hundred people attended the seminar.
Opening Remarks by Mr. Mikio Hataeda, JICA Bangladesh Office
The population of Greater Dhaka Area is 15 million and the population density becomes 43,500 person/km2, which is the highest density in the world. (Source: Demographia World Urban Areas: 11th Annual Edition: 2015.01) Responding to the steep urbanization in Dhaka, the city is exposed to the risk of natural disaster and climate change. In Dhaka, if the earthquake with magnitude 6 occurs, it kills 150,000 populations and loses five percent of the GDP. Climate change risk evokes that one meter sea level rise will impact thirty percent of the urban population and have the city inundated around fourteen percent. (Source: Comprehensive Disaster Management Program and Assessing the Costs of Climate Change and Adaptation in South Asia, ADB, 2014) In addition to those risks, Rana Plaza was suddenly collapsed on April 24, 2013, killing 1,135 people by the incident, therefore the urban resilience and urban building safety are the pressing needs for the city to address.
Under these circumstances, the World Bank and JICA have jointly committed to support this issue on urban resilience. The World Bank starts implementing Urban Resilience Project to strengthen the emergency response system and to develop the capacity of city corporations, while JICA exchanged its Loan Agreement on December 13, 2015 for Urban Building Safety Project which will serve as the catalytic role of public and private building safety. This seminar is for jointly commencing above two projects as well as for finding out the issues and actions for urban resilience in Bangladesh. The seminar, with the support of GFDRR Disaster Risk Management Hub, Tokyo, is jointly organized by the Government of Bangladesh, the World Bank and JICA.
Panel Discussions in the seminar
In addition to the concerned officials from the Government of Bangladesh, the World Bank and JICA, the seminar provides the international experience from Mr. Victor Orrellana, Deputy National Director of the ONEMI (National Office of Emergency of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security), Government of Chile, Mr. K. Gokhan Elgin, Project Director, Istanbul Project Coordination Unit (IPCU), Istanbul Governorship, Turkey, Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project, Mr. Tetsuro Fujisaki, Deputy Director of Disaster Prevention City Planning Section of Bureau of Urban Development, under Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan and Dr. Tatsuo Narafu, JICA Senior Advisor. Mr. Fujisaki shared the Community Earthquake Risk Assessment Study held by Tokyo Metropolitan Government and highlighted the importance of sequence of risk assessment, policy prioritization and budgeting accordingly.
Following with the joint program between the World Bank and JICA, the concerned officials of Bangladesh identified necessary actions forward, such as identification of urban risk, legislative system for emergency operations and building safety, improvement of design and construction skill, establishment of coordination mechanism, awareness raising to the citizens and improvement of university education program.
Mr. Kamal, minister of planning and the chief guest of the seminar, indicated that the enforcement of Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) is limited, resulting in limitation of safety assurance of the buildings; therefore it requires improvement of the quality of building materials, advancement of construction technique, public and private cooperation for legal enforcement and capacity development of the governmental staffs and private sector. Also, the Honorable Mayor Mr. Mohammad Sayeed Khokon of Dhaka South City Corporation, and the Honorable Mayor Mr. Annisul Huq of Dhaka North City Corporation summarized the seminar that learning from Japan, Chile and Turkey provoke the city for preparing the disaster and for urban resilience, and as persons of prime responsibility for disaster response, the mayors committed to take all the actions for disaster risk management which includes the capacity development of city corporation staffs, awareness raising to the citizens and strengthening of emergency response plan.
JICA, the World Bank and Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) held the public forum for urban resilience in Bangladesh during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March, 2015. In order to further boost the necessary actions to be taken, this seminar was organized by the concerned institutions.
With a view to attaining urban resilience in Bangladesh, JICA will support the Government of Bangladesh to implement the multiple tiers approach, such as i) improvement of design and construction skills and enforcement of BNBC through Technical Cooperation Project, ii) research and development of building retrofitting technology which fits to the building materials and construction techniques in Bangladesh through Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) and iii) public and private building safety through Yen Loan.