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Chief Representative's Speech

February 11, 2016

Workshop on Disaster Information Management System
(11/Feb/2016 @ Hotel Nirvana Inn, Sylhet)

Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief,
Respected Special Guest, Mr. Md Reaz Ahmed, Director General, Department of Disaster Management,
Coordinator of the Workshop, Mr. Md. Mohsin, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief,
Chairman of the Workshop, Deputy Commissioner of Sylhet
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Assalam alaikum, Namaskar, and Good Afternoon

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the Ministry, DDM, DC – Sylhet and relevant stakeholders to organize the Seminar on "Emergency Disaster and Incident Information Management System," such a timely and worthwhile initiative to attain the goal of Digital Bangladesh.

All of us must be aware that managing information during emergency is a crucial part of any operation. A strong information management network that supports emergency coordination requires processes to collect, analyze and share information about the situation among various organizations involved, and to ensure an efficient coordination system. During an emergency, timely and transparent production and dissemination of information generates trust and credibility.

Bangladesh is ranked 5th among 171 countries regarding vulnerability to natural disasters. Bangladesh suffers regularly and frequently from disasters like floods, cyclone, tidal surges, river bank erosion, earthquakes and other hydro meteorological hazards. Natural disasters cause enormous destruction, create human sufferings and exert negative impacts on national economies. Incorporating knowledge of information management system is becoming increasingly important in derivation of management solutions for disasters. Information systems including GIS, communication technology and other information retrieval systems should be maintained before, during and after natural disasters to ensure a disaster resilient society.

For a smooth, effective and timely humanitarian operation, gathering of reliable data is utmost important. A clear information management structure also ensures that all organizations would coordinate with available resources and complementary information. Stakeholders depend on this information to guide their works and translate their interests and concerns into concrete actions.

Japan is known as one of the advanced countries for information management system and has been working in the disaster risk reduction sector of Bangladesh since 1986. Our support to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center and GIS unit of LGED has created major sources of information for early warning and structural planning. In addition, we are extending our support to the Department of Disaster Management by dispatching a long-term advisor who can mobilize Japan's knowledge and experiences to improve the coordination system for overall disaster management in Bangladesh. I hope that the Department will make the most of the Japanese advisor.

Ladies and gentlemen,

There are still some challenges to get the current communication and information management system to respond effectively and timely. Scientists and researchers are working very hard globally to improve the present situation utilizing modern technologies, thereby lessening impacts of disasters and emergencies on the quality of life of affected communities.

We are very much encouraged by the initiatives of the Government of Bangladesh, such as finalization of Disaster Management Act and National Plan for Disaster Management, etc., in order to ensure firm and effective changes in overall disaster management system. In this occasion, I would like to compliment the initiative taken by MoDMR and I believe current leadership in the Ministry will achieve the target. I also believe that today's seminar will accelerate understandings of the necessity for strong disaster information management system in Bangladesh under cooperation of related agencies, departments, NGO's and civil societies.

Web-EOC, which was demonstrated today, is now utilized by many municipalities in Japan as well as those in other countries including USA. The software can be customized based on local requirements, linking to different information systems. We appreciate many feedbacks from participants today and I hope this system will be developed and implemented effectively in both national and local levels of Bangladesh through leadership of MoDMR and DDM.

Shobaike Onek Dhonnobad, Thank you very much.


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