Role of ICT in natural disaster management of Bangladesh
AuthorMd Hassan, Abu Ayub
MetadataShow full item record
Bangladesh being world's eighth-most populous country is highly vulnerable to recurrent natural hazards due to its location and topography. It regularly experiences floods, droughts, tornadoes and cyclones. Being located in a tectonically active zone, Bangladesh has a long history of seismic tremors as well. During disasters information is as much a necessity as water, food and medicine. ICT is thus among the lifelines which helps to save lives, livelihoods and resources. Responding effectively to disasters demand rapid access to reliable and accurate data. Information sharing and integration of communication is critical which is time demanding as well. Globally there is a growing awareness of the importance of ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). A natural disaster may have discrete origins but its effects propagate and interact in such a way that intensifies the complexity and uncertainties. Thus each type of natural disaster presents a particular context for ICT use. Data need to be acquired and analysed under severe time pressure. ICT can potentially play a pivotal role in DRR. Beside the traditional ICT media (radio, television, etc); rapid advancement in ICT in the form of Internet, GIS, Remote Sensing and satellite-based communication can help a great deal in planning and implementation of DRR. These technologies are playing a major role in designing early warning systems, catalysing the process of preparedness, response and mitigation. Bangladesh ICT Policy 2009 stated to protect citizens from natural disasters through ICT based disaster warning and management technologies. DRR through the use of ICT is among the objectives set under the ICT Policy. ICT has played a significant role to bring paradigm shift in disaster management from conventional response and relief practice to a more comprehensive risk reduction culture in Bangladesh. However, for effective DRR an integrated communication system is indispensable. Besides, there is eminence of obstacles for ICT and emergency communication when a natural hazard strikes Bangladesh. Although a good ICT infrastructure is in place in Bangladesh, yet scopes exist in diversifying ICT applications uses to enhance integrated information management for minimizing hazard specific risks in a timely manner.