Disaster Preparedness is POWER: Let’s Learn From The Community

Project: Shifting The Power 13th September 2017

Experience of local & national actors on flood needs assessment in Bangladesh

The Flood Impact and Community Crisis

A devastating early flash flood broke out this season in haor. It hit the region catastrophically. All seven haor districts have been affected. Boro rice- the main crop of this single cropped region – has catastrophically been damaged; a 90% damage been reported at many places. Government estimates 371,381 hactors of rice has damaged. An estimated 5,081 crore BDT (620 million USD) of damage of rice, fish, fodder has occurred according to the government, while, according to community, the actual value could be more than twice. Newspaper sources states, farmers cultivated Boro paddy on 4.5 lakh hectares of haor land this year. District agricultural offices said around 2.5 lakh hectares of land was submerged in the flash floods, 87 embankments were damaged and all the 142 haors went under water. The flash floods have reportedly caused damage to crops worth over Tk 4,000 crore. The Haor Advocacy Platform has come to disclose this, considering the loss of one million tons of rice, 2,000 tons of fish and 11,305 tons of livestock feed. However, the loss is likely to go up to 10,000 crore taka.

The process

Shifting the Power conducted a Needs Assessment comprising the Rapid Response Team (RRT) members of Local and National Partners (Rapid Response Team/ RRT is an idea of creating a trained team within the 11 partner organizations of Shifting the Power Bangladesh, who will be ready to be deployed for disaster response within 24 hours of disaster hit in Bangladesh or outside Bangladesh, based on their willingness and agreement with the respective organization) to record a comprehensive analysis of the flood situation and highlight community vulnerabilities considering the flood impact on the lives and livelihood. The objective of this assessment was two folded, firstly, to engage the RRT members within learning process on the practical needs assessment and secondly, to summarize real-time impact & vulnerability of the community and communicating these with the wider audience. Accordingly, Shifting the Power included 05 national partner organisations were part of this assessment i.e. Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) as lead, Caritas Bangladesh, Dustha Shastha Kendra (DSK), Amra Kaj Kori (AKK) and Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) along with Shifting the Power Bangladesh Team and Christian Aid.

The assessment team has carried FGDs, KII and observation method to comprehend the local vulnerabilities in consultations with male farmer groups, women groups, fishermen group, local government, government officials/duty bearers, children and adolescent girls of Khaliajuri Upazilla of Netrokona District and Dharmapasha Upazilla of Sunamgonj District.

This video is the reflection of the needs assessment participants:

The needs assessment report is also attached with this learning.


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