Volunteers are playing a big role in making the local people proficient in disaster management, Dr Enamur Rahman, state minister for disaster management and relief, said on Sunday.
Addressing a roundtable on International Volunteer Day, the minister said Bangladesh is now a role model in dealing with natural disasters.
"This achievement has been made possible, thanks to imparting disaster preparedness and response strategies among the local people. And volunteers are playing a big role in making the local people proficient in disaster management," he said.
The state minister urged volunteers engaged in disaster management to become more self-reliant.
The programme was organised jointly by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and its development partner, Friendship, at the Cirdap auditorium in the capital, reads a press statement.
AB Tajul Islam, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, participated in the roundtable.
Md Mohsin, secretary to the disaster management ministry, Md Atiqul Haque, director general of the Disaster Management Department, Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury, chief conservator of forests, AM Aminul Haque, director general of the Water Development Board, Md Firoz Saleh Uddin, secretary general of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Runa Khan, founder and executive director of social purpose organisation Friendship, Ahmadul Haque, director of the Cyclone Preparedness Programme, Professor Salimul Haque, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, and Kazi Emdadul Haque, director (Strategic Action Plan) of Friendship were present at the event among other distinguished experts in the field.
Speakers said Bangladesh, because of its geographical location, has been facing various natural disasters throughout the years.
Several cyclones and tidal waves hit the southern coastal districts every year. Long-term floods are occurring in the north during the monsoon season. Besides, untimely and flash floods are also a regular disaster in the haor areas in the northeast, they added.
Government and non-government organizations are working tirelessly to save the local people from the damage caused by these disasters, experts said, adding that as a result, it has been possible to reduce the damage caused by disasters.