ADPC-iPrepare: Landslides in Chittagong

Landslides in Chittagong

Chittagong, Bangladesh

Post by Sadika Tabassum  , Sumaiya Sharmin and Sabrina Fatema Chowdhury
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A disaster is a sudden calamity that highly disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material and economic or environmental losses that overstep the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources.

Though often disasters are caused by nature, they can be originated by human as well. (What is a disaster? International Federation Of Red Cross and Red Crescent). Bangladesh is a small country of South Asia. Every year many natural disasters visit Bangladesh. Landslide is one of them.

Landslide is a very common hazard in Bangladesh, especially in Chittagong. It is the second largest city and the busiest sea port of Bangladesh. Landslide has become a terror here for its increasing trend of frequency and damage. This division is full of hill tracts. These hills are the main attractions of Chittagong. But now-a-day, these hills have become curse for Chittagong because of Landslide.

A natural hill on earth is a stable surface. It holds a balance of its components and can maintain its stability. If the balance system is disturbed by any natural cause or by improper interactions of human being, it can cause landslides. The landslides of Chittagong are causing mostly because human are steeping the hills day by day by hill cutting activities.

The foot of the hills are the main areas where the soil grabbers cut the hills. Those are causing the steepness of hills. Steep of hills are vulnerable for sliding land. Susceptibility of a hill is moderate and high at a slope of 20 to 30 degrees and 40 to 60 degrees respectively, whereas hills of Chittagong are cut at 70 degree or greater slope.

During monsoon, slopes lose their stability and loose muddy soil as their ability to rain water absorption cannot hold the extra weight added by rain water, results landslides.

We cannot prevent disasters but we can try to take some precautions to decrease the losses. Through the collaboration of faith based organizations and educational organizations can work together to educate and empower our communities to prepare before disaster strike.

Schools in disaster preparedness

It is school where we can be taught to be prepared for the environmental hazards. It is the place where we first come to know in a deeper sense about the natural hazards and the reasons behind it’s origin. The educational organizations can add more texts so that the students can learn about the natural disasters like landslide and be prepared for it.

Tree plantation is a great way to mitigate landslide problem in Chittagong since trees holds soil from being washed away by rain water. So students should be encouraged to plant more and more trees. In every year tree plantation programs can be arranged in the schools and educational organizations all over the country.

Seminars should be organized more frequently to create awareness among the young generations of our country. Moral education should be imparted to the students in the fullest sense so that they can restrain themselves from business like soil grabbing in future. Schools can also be used as shelters during such hazards. These are the ways which can help a lot to mitigate landslide problem in Chittagong.

Faith Based Organizations in Disaster Preparedness

Mosque, temple, pagoda, church are some of the faith based organizations which can help greatly to mitigate landslide problem and help to be prepared for it. People generally take their respective religious heads seriously and try to follow their advice. There are some special prayer days in each religion when religious minded people unite in the faith based organizations and pray together. On those special days the religious heads can give speeches regarding disaster preparedness.

The faith based organizations can announce beforehand if there is any possibility of landslide or any other natural hazards. Again the faith based organizations can also be used as shelter centers during landslide.

Heavy rainfall and soil grabbing from hills are the main factors for landslide in Chittagong. This dreadful disaster causes unbearable loss of lives and properties every year. Any sincere initiative from the schools and faith based organizations will be highly welcomed. If the students are made aware of this devastating natural hazard in their early lives and if the faith based organizations come forward and increase moral awareness among the common people then it will definitely be possible to mitigate the effects of landslip in future.

It should be remembered that hills are important to maintain ecological balance. If we fail to protect them, larger disaster is waiting for us.

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