In any disaster, local people and organisations are the first to stand by disaster-affected people. Therefore, those concerned should increase the capacity of local organisations. That is why the post-flood rehabilitation activities in the Haor region must be implemented by local organisations, speakers recently said at a virtual press conference organised by BDCSO process, a network of about 700 national and local CSOs and NGOs, according to a press release.
In his keynote address given on behalf of the organisers, BDCSO Sylhet Division President Tofazzal Sohel noted that several organisations, including the United Nations, had recently surveyed the impact of the recent flood. In addition to assessing the damage, they have also verified the need for post-flood rehabilitation. It is really good if international organisations stand by the people along with the government.
“But we are, as always, inspired by the role of local people and local organisations in this flood. We believe that by recognising this role, UN agencies and INGO should fund the implementation of post-flood rehabilitation programmes through local organisations because local organisations understand the needs of local people best, and they can be more effective in implementing the programme, the operating costs of local organisations are relatively low,” he said.
ADAB Sylhet Division Coordinator Babul Akhter said any relief aid from outside should be coordinated with the local administration, involving local organisations. In this way, the right help can be reached to the right people.
Executive Director of AWARD Abul Kalam Azad said, “We have been working with the local people for a long time. We know the news of their house and their mind best. Therefore, if any programme is implemented with our participation, it is more likely to be sustainable.
ADAB Sylhet District President ATM Badrul Islam said many people are coming from far and wide to get relief around the city, but with the help of local organisations, it is possible to reach out to remote areas. Local organisations know what kind of cooperation is needed in an area.
Professor of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet Zahirul Haque Shakil said, “I saw a person spending 40,000 taka and bringing relief of 10,000 taka. But if a local organisation gave this relief, it could have given relief assistance of 50,000 taka. We have to think in the light of global realities, but we have to do it with local realities in mind.”
Disaster expert and writer Gowhar Naeem Wara said it is now very important to determine what is needed for local rehabilitation. This demand needs to be verified by going to the local area, by the local agencies. International organisations like the IoM should now stand by the people displaced by the floods in Haor as a matter of urgency. It's not just a flood, it's waterlogging. Its impact is far-reaching. It is very important to appoint a relief commissioner from the secretary level in each district.
BDCSO Process’s National Coordinator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said the role of international organisations is important, but they should limit their activities to fundraising, technical assistance and monitoring, field-level activities should be implemented by local organisations and the whole process should be coordinated by the government.
BDCSO Sylhet Division General Secretary Abdul Karim Kim presided over the virtual press conference, while BDCSO Process’s Rezaul Karim Chowdhury moderated it.