“I am only aware of the very fact that I have survived this disaster” – a terrified survivor was in a fix whether to express gratitude on surviving such a major escape to death or to still pray for the missing people in his family.
Elicited by the heavy raining, the landslide which occurred on the 12th of June’17 in the Chittagong and Rangamati hill tracts claimed life of at least 150 people in accordance to the latest poll shown in the local news. An estimate of 5000 houses being destroyed has been made till now. This disaster is being considered to be one of the highest life claiming natural landslide in the history of natural calamities in Bangladesh.
Innocent people indulged in deep sleep after a day long of intensive work, were the quarry to a natural disaster which was predicted quite a while ago. However,due to the lack extensive dissemination of news and having almost no knowledge regarding how to survive a natural disaster contributed to the greater number of people dying.
Anumber of rescuers hurried to the place of mishap only to find the death tollrising. The local officials commented that the rescue efforts were hampered by low manpower, bad weather and mud-swamped roads. Though help was sent very hurriedly, only 60 rescuers could make it at the scene of disaster. They managed to bring very few people alive from the huge colliery of mud. One of the head rescuer said, “We tried our very best to reach to every nook and corner with a hope to pull out someone alive from the mud pit. However, the rain continued and it majorly affected our search operations. We were unable to reach to a lot of places due to several safety reasons.”
Picture Source: the two- way, NPR
Now,arises the question of why these natural disasters are befalling on our country at the most and how well are we prepared for such uncertain calamities?
Bangladesh has always been prone to natural disasters due to its geographical position. We have faced some of the most disastrous nature’s wrath in its most extreme state. Apart from this one reason which is beyond control, there are several factors which should be looked into while accounting for the reasons of these disasters. Because, we ourselves are the greatest contributor to these occurring.
According to several reports on climate change, the main contributing factor to the happening of irregular natural calamities in Bangladesh, is Deforestation. A country should ideally have at least 25% of its area covered by forests.Whereas in Bangladesh, which has been listed as the one of the lowest countries in percentage of forest area in Asia, has a rate of 11.2% only when it comes to forest land. The trees are being cut down at an aggressive manner in order to accommodate the ever growing population in Bangladesh which seems to have no possible solution to control.
Another major reason can be the low awareness about what is to be done during such cases among the people of Bangladesh especially the ones living in the rural areas. Though our people have survived a lot of natural causalities, they really couldn’t grasp the knowledge of survival and imply it accordingly when required.
The limitations in information transmission to our remote areas adds up to the deadly consequences. According to aresearch done by a local NGO in Bangladesh, the people who falls prey to such happenings are mostly unaware of the disaster occurring initially. The message interpretation also goes in the wrong direction many a times due to lack of proper education and knowledge.
Picture Credit: ALJAZEERA
Moreover,the illegal clutching of hill tracts by the powerful locals and mis management in land allocation causes our country to be immensely vulnerable to these type of natural catastrophes.
In order to find a solution, there has to be a massive coherence among the government initiatives and the local people since they are the onlookers of the whole planning and implementing process. The government has to come up with more effective and reliable solutions in preventing, coping with and afterwards in the context of these natural devastations.
Yet again, we need to establish a greater coverage of information diffusion in the local and remote places. The infrastructure should be improved at the utmost level for the rapid reach of help in case of an emergency.
With the above planning in action, we might be able to save some lives out there who might be greater asset to our country and not fall victim to the unexpected happenings. However, we should realize that, being a country with immense natural blessing can be destructive at times. However, we still fight with all we have in the most difficult times. And yes! We eventually learn how to cope up with the uncertain ones.