The international development organisation Practical Action will team up with relevant agencies of the government to develop an app, called "Disaster Alert for BD", to predict various natural disasters, including floods and cyclones, in Bangladesh.
Users of the app can seek any kind of help from volunteers during disasters.
"The app is being developed under the five-year 'Flood Resilience' project," Shawkat Ara Begum, country director of Practical Action, said at an event, titled "Community Resilience to Flooding in Bangladesh Learning and Ways Forward", at a hotel in the capital yesterday.
She added, "Several initiatives have already been implemented under the project on flood forecasting, reducing the flood damage in remote and marginal areas."
At the event, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Kamrul Hasan said policies are being formulated to bring volunteers working in various fields, including disasters, under one umbrella, upon instructions of the prime minister.
Director General of the Directorate of Disaster Management Mijanur Rahman said, "Bangladesh's ability to deal with disasters has increased a lot. The amount of loss of life and damage in disasters has reduced as well."
Practical Action Bangladesh's Thematic Lead (Climate and Resilience) Tamanna Rahman said the project started in 2018 by measuring the flood resilience capacity of communities through the "Flood Resilience Measurement for Communities" tool.
"Under the project, around 40,000 people in four unions of two upazilas of Faridpur have been sent voice messages on mobile phones about the forecast of floods and other disasters at different times," she added.
Tamanna further said under the project, digital weather boards have been installed in four unions, ensuring marginal people's access to weathers forecasts and various information about agriculture.