November 29, 2014
Mr. Dildar Hossain, Short Film Director and Film Researcher, Representative of Jury Board,
Mr. Fumio Kaneko, Team Leader of CNCRP Expert Team,
Ladies and gentlemen.
I am pleased to attend the first ever Short Film Festival on Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been striving for equitable socioeconomic development amid recurring calamities. In order to achieve any such development and get more resilient, Bangladesh should make the utmost efforts to protect environment, adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risks.
Bangladesh has formulated new policies, new plans and new acts on disaster management and climate change adaptation, thereby mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in its development agenda, though much remains to be done to deliver the benefits to daily life.
Japan's assistance to Bangladesh particularly on disaster risk reduction comprises of 65 projects amounting to 650 million USD in the last forty years. We are committed to go forward with our technical and financial assistance until the country reaches its goal. When the two Prime Ministers, H.E. Shinzo Abe and H.E. Sheikh Hasina, met in Dhaka last September, they agreed to share information for research and management of natural disasters and to cooperate in the sector of disaster risk reduction, particularly mitigating earthquake damage, through technology transfer.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In addition to natural disasters in rural area such as floods, cyclones and storm surges, ensuring urban life safety is becoming a burning issue for Bangladesh after the painful wakeup call of the Rana Plaza which collapsed in April 2013 taking more than 1,100 innocent lives with no earthquake whatsoever. The tragedy intensely reminds us of imminent danger of buildings in Bangladesh.
Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, started its support for a capacity development project in Bangladesh, so called "CNCRP", for developing disaster resistant techniques of construction and retrofitting right after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011 to share Japan's techniques and experiences. The project has been extending technical cooperation to the Public Works Department in, among others, developing an inventory of 2,000 public buildings, introducing various seismic assessment methods, developing retrofitting capacity for more than 100 engineers in both public and private sectors, and preparing technical guidelines and manuals for retrofitting and construction in conformity to the Bangladesh National Building Code.
Thanks to great motivation and ownership of PWD, the engineers have become quite capable in the past three and half years, and several pilot projects of retrofitting in Dhaka have been completed. Now, all sectors and relevant stakeholders should come together to ensure urban resilience and to respond against disaster risks.
Today, as a part of CNCRP's awareness campaigns, a short film competition titled "Survive" is launched to raise public awareness about vulnerability of Bangladesh to earthquakes. I'm very happy to know that more than 20 films were produced by young, promising Bangladeshi creators. I imagine it was quite difficult for them to create a film of earthquake risk since many of them must not have experienced any earthquake themselves. But, this film competition is a quite important step for the country to get the ordinary citizens to prepare for earthquakes and to reduce the disaster's risk.
In conclusion I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the persons and parties concerned who have done a lot to make this event possible.
Shobaike Annek Donnobad, Thank you very much.