ADPC-iPrepare: Landslide in Motijhorna, Chittagong

Landslide in Motijhorna, Chittagong

Chittagong, Bangladesh

Post by Md.Kamrul Islam  
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Every year in the rainy season people are dying because of landslide. 18 august 2008 in Motijhorna 11 are people killed and 25 are injured including man and women. Though they are counting times for death under those hills but they are not agreed to displace because other part of the city is too expensive.

“We have to die” says 35-year-old Rahima, a garment worker and refugee. “Here we are dying for landslide but in our village we were dying for poverty or natural disaster. It is better to die in a second by a landslide, rather than suffer from poverty or natural disaster.”

Absence of Early Warning System

The local Meteorological Department usually provides forecasts for heavy rainfall and issues a pre-hazard warning to the departments or agencies with responsibility for disaster preparedness. However no specific responses, either before or during the rainfall, were undertaken by any of the agencies in the local disaster management committee because of their undefined roles. There was not any responsible agency to convey early warning to the informal settlers that they needed to move to a safe location. A respondent in one of the focus groups noted:

“We presented the vulnerability issue to city corporation authorities, but they could not conduct any survey for landslide risk assessment along the informal settlement. If there were early warning and communication from government with other agencies and us, there would be fewer deaths from landslides.”

I believed that if the authority takes necessary steps such as early warning system, community based voluntary committee, create public awareness about bad effect of hill cutting etc. the casualty of landslide will be reduced.

Following measure is need for prevention landslide:

Development of awareness among the people and community at landslide risks

Awareness among the urban planners and engineers about the risky zones

Guidelines for an early warning system

Mitigation of landslide in near future

Emphasis on good governance in preventing landslides

Implementing the existing master plan

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