The Bangladesh government and the World Bank have signed a $113 million agreement to modernise weather forecasting and early warning systems.
The project includes the development of a community-level early warning system for flash floods, thunderstorms and droughts in the Netrakona, Sunamganj, Rajshahi and Naogaon districts that will affect more than 1 million people.
The project will also develop information kiosks in 487 Upazilas and display boards at 4,051 Unions that will provide 30,000 farming households with access to weather and water related information, allowing them to plan ahead and deal with climate uncertainties.
“With Bangladesh often exposed to extreme weather events, the lack of reliable forecasting and information on weather can cost lives and hurt the productivity of key sectors, such as agriculture, which contributes to about 16 percent of GDP, and employs 45 percent of the population,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
“By ensuring reliable and systematic weather and climate information, this project will strengthen disaster preparedness, as well as help farmers better adjust to weather variability at the farm level, and thus improve productivity.”
The project hopes to improve regional collaboration, and increase the sharing of knowledge and resources to develop better preparation and response protocols.
“Globally, Bangladesh is well recognised for disaster preparedness,” said Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary-in-Charge of Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division.
“Realising that weather pattern is not restricted to one single country, with this project, we are looking forward to broader collaboration with our neighboring countries, and modernizing the weather and climate monitoring framework to further improve early warning systems at community level.”