Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah (R.)

Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries that are facing the early impacts of climate change, because it is low-lying, located on the Bay of Bengal in the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Its national economy strongly depends on agriculture and natural resources that are sensitive to climate change and sea level rise. These changes are already having major impacts on the economy and lives and livelihoods of millions of poor people. Climate change is affecting the country in many ways, reduced fresh water availability, surface drainage congestion, sea level rise, increased drought, floods and coastal storms.

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has developed perspective plan (2006-2015) as a strategic guide for programme development in consideration with interconnected sectoral approach and DRR & CCA have been prioritize in the strategic paper. DAM’s DRR strategy paper has been prepared for next five years (2011 -2015) considering the global, national and local context. DAM’s current DRR approach has been evolved over years based on its learning from the field and through continuous efforts of organizational capacity building. The developments over years witness a gradual move from relief works to disaster preparedness approach and ultimate transition towards a comprehensive DRR process.

DAM has been taken a widespread drive by creating a Disaster Management Unit (DMU) for implement programme, establish linkage and effective coordination among the sectors and also with the different related Government institutions, climate change specialists. Policy lobbying is one of the strategic approaches for obtaining the result of advocacy. Under this endeavour, DAM will have the opportunity to be involved in national as well as other levels. It is very important to maintain regular lobbying and advocacy relation with policy makers, government officials, politicians, development organizations, journalist and other concerned organizations

The Government of Bangladesh has been taken appropriate initiatives for mainstreaming DRR process and prioritized the issues of Climate Change. Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is also committed “to achieve a paradigm shift in disaster management from conventional response and relief to a more comprehensive risk reduction culture. Reducing disaster risks is an integral part of the DAM’s mission to alleviate poverty and improve living condition of the people. DAM has fostered a ‘culture of safety” based on its experiences of being affected by a variety of disasters in different programme areas in Bangladesh. DAM also developed its own ‘disaster-resilient culture’ by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in longer-term development policies and plans.

Considering the adverse impact of Climate Change and the factors, Dhaka Ahsania Mission has prioritized issue of long term climate risks and uncertainties as an integral part of organizational development planning. The broad objective is to expand the concept of risk reduction to include climate change (CC). This is to be done by reflecting CC concerns in key policy documents of DAM and also in all programme implementation.

Major Climate Change & DRR Programmes (Field Based):