Each year urban and rural populations across Bangladesh risk being impacted by threats posed by disasters, with the frequency and intensity of natural disasters only predicted to increase further in coming years.

Right now it’s monsoon season. From June to October each year heavy rains inundate communities, hitting up to 70 per cent of the South Asian country. But this isn’t the only threat for Bangladesh, with communities and livelihoods also vulnerable to cyclones, earthquakes and landslides.

To help strengthen national capacity to prepare for and respond to disasters, Bangladesh has been selected as one of six Global Logistics Cluster Preparedness Project pilot countries. The project is aimed at reinforcing local supply chain and logistics systems during times of crisis.

Last month our Logistics Preparedness Officer, Amina Mohammed, teamed up with colleagues from across the humanitarian sector for a cyclone and landslide simulation exercise, conducted jointly by the Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and WFP.

Simulation exercises are a critical component of preparedness initiatives, providing participants with hands-on experience and an opportunity to apply their knowledge to an emergency scenario, and lay the groundwork for future response planning.

“The event was a great opportunity where the major government responders from the Central District and Upazila level, as well as actors from across the humanitarian sector, came together to share their lessons, knowledge and experience and create a common working picture on early warning, preparedness and response planning.”

“The district of Cox’s Bazar where the event was held also offered a unique contextual opportunity that allowed for understanding of a broader coordination mechanism,’’ Amina said. 

The simulation forms part of a series of exercises that will be conducted throughout 2018. The lessons learned from each of the exercises will provide useful inputs into national contingency planning documents, currently being prepared by the Government of Bangladesh and the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT).

All the latest updates from the Preparedness Project in Bangladesh can be found here: https://logcluster.org/preparedness/bangladesh