March 18, 2015
The Exchange of Notes and Grant Agreement signing ceremony on "The Project for Improvement of Meteorological Radar System in Dhaka and Rangpur" was held at NEC conference room of Economic Relations Division (ERD) on 18th March, 2015. The Senior Secretary of ERD Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Mr. Shah Alam, Director of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Mr. Shiro Sadoshima, and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office Mr. Mikio Hataeda were present at the signing ceremony. The other high officials of ERD, Ministry of Defence, Embassy of Japan, JICA Bangladesh Office were also present at the ceremony.
Bangladesh is prone to various types of natural disasters and particularly has been devastated a number of times by tropical cyclones. Over the last four decades, Bangladesh has been hit by 55 major cyclones and lost more than 700,000 lives. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), almost 90% of natural disasters caused by weather phenomena can be detected by meteorological radars. The radars are vital to observe weather situation and to make weather prediction timely especially to alert public to be prepared for severe weather conditions.
The Government of Japan recognized that improvement of early warning system is very crucial issue for Bangladesh. Since 1988, Government of Japan has been assisting BMD to establish 5 radar stations (Dhaka, Rangpur, Cox'sbazar, Khepupara and Moulvibazar) covering whole country, and supporting to improve operation and maintenance capacity of BMD. From this Grant Aid assistance, radars in Dhaka and Rangpur will be replaced by brand new Japanese S-band Doppler meteorological radar systems. BMD will be able to obtain more data on precipitation intensity in a broader range and information on cyclonic wind velocity distribution. These facilities will intensify the numerical weather prediction and other meteorological observations for disaster risk reduction. Approximately 35 million coastal people and 30 million people of tornado prone area will be benefitted from these 2 new radars.
At the signing ceremony, Mr. Mikio Hataeda, Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office mentioned that these radars will play pivotal roles not only to observe weather conditions but also to reduce risk of the people living in adverse conditions. The precise and accurate weather information will generate tangible early warning which enables the communities in better preparedness, and also the disaster management system will be enhanced from national level to grass root level.