Assessing the cyclone early warning services of women, children and person with disability: a case study in Nijhumdwip
MetadataShow full item record
This study was done as a part of the Masters of Disaster Management under BRAC University. Research was conducted in Nijhumdwip assess the cyclone early warning service for the vulnerable groups. The success of cyclone early warnings depends on appropriate hazard detection, information dissemination, and responses by affected people. In addition to a variety of socioeconomic factors, psychological and cultural factors may also determine the human response to warning. Women and children are the most vulnerable group in Bangladesh particularly in the hazard-prone coastal areas. Their vulnerability to cyclone hazard has already been widely reported. In Bangladesh, women tend to have more limited access to assets- physical, financial, human, social and natural capital such as land, credit, decision making bodies, agricultural inputs, technology, extension and training services which would all enhance their capacity to adopt. In the coastal areas, the situation remains worst. Nijhumdwip, located at very remote geographic location at the Meghna river estuary and the Bay of Bengal under Hatiaya Upazila of Noakhali District, is highly vulnerable to cyclone and a large part of the population is continually suffering for frequent hit of storm and cyclone, specially women and children who cover about 70 percent of the inhabitants. This study assessed the cyclone early warning services of women, children, aged and person with disability at Nijhumdwip. Both primary and secondary data have been used to fulfill the objectives of the present study. Primary data have been collected through PRA techniques from field by triangulating different data collection methods of household survey, focus group discussion (FGD) and key informant interviews (KII). 100 household surveys, 10 FGDs and 10 KIIs were conducted. In general, radio broadcasting, word-of-mouth from neighbours and CPP (Cyclone Preparedness Programme) volunteers were the most common sources of information dissemination about cyclone early warning. However, women (79%) find neighbors as most effective medium to know about cyclonic condition. Besides, volunteers from CPP also play important role in this regard. Those who have radio rely mainly on it. After receiving cyclone warning, the next stage is to understand such a warning in order to take proactive action. Study found that nearly 70 percent of women very poorly interpreted disseminated signals during cyclone. Illiteracy has strong correlation with it where 86 percent of women are illiterate. In the case of children, the scenario is same. This study reveals that a majority of the respondents is unable to follow & respond to the cyclone warning. As children lack proper knowledge about cyclone and preparedness, they have to depend on their mother to act. About 34 percent of respondents (women) often find it very difficult to manage children, aged persons and commodities to reach shelter in adverse weather. As outlined above, religious belief, disbelief in cyclone warning, scarcity of safe infrastructure, distance & condition of shelter, socio-economic vulnerability and locational insecurity are the integral causes of inaccessibility of women, children as well as PWD who are striving to survive in the fragile environment. Thus, without having a reliable and responsive warning system, even the existing availability of options remains under-utilized. As early warning is not simply a linear process of information dissemination, the success of a warning depends on the proactive responses of individuals and the community as a whole. Therefore, more effective and timely early warning forecast, dissemination as well as increased interpretation by locals are needed to be ensured. Moreover, awareness building through proper education and also more effective & interactive comprehensive programs in larger scale by CPP integrating more people of Nijhumdwip are absolutely essential.