General

Bangladesh, India to exchange weather forecast

Bangladesh and India have agreed to exchange weather forecast messages to take precautionary measures against eminent natural calamities with Indian West Bengal having a key stake in the process, disaster management minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said today.

"Bangladesh and India will exchange weather related messages particularly the weather forecasts in during any impending natural calamities," Maya told a press conference at his office days after his return home after attending Asian Ministerial Conference at New Delhi held from November 2-5.

He said after the conference in the Indian capital he also held talks with West Bengal's Jabed Ahmed Khan on November 8 in this regard.

Maya said Dhaka and New Delhi also agreed to take coordinated approach to protect the world's largest mangrove forest of Sundarban, shared by both the countries, from any environmental disaster considering its role as a "defender" against cyclones and tidal surges.

The minister said being the upper riparian country India shared flood warning messages with Bangladesh which helped the downstream country to take precautionary measures during the recent floods as well.

"We had received the Indian forecast on flood at least fifteen days before that enabled us to take early precautionary measures effectively during the flood in 19 districts," Maya said. Maya said the two countries earlier took the decision for effective exchange of disaster messages when Bangladesh's home minister Asaduzzaman Khan held talks in Delhi with Indian home and disaster management minister Rajnath Singh on November 4.

Disaster and Relief Secretary Shah Kamal, Director General of the Department of Disaster Management Reaz Ahmed and senior ministry officials, among others, were present at the press briefing.

The Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held to make the disaster management system sustainable for the Asian countries in light of Sendai framework.

The conference adopted a political declaration and formulated a regional action plan on disaster management. The next conference will be held at Mongolia in 2018.

The Delhi conference drew 22 ministers from different countries as it was joined by some 5,000 representatives from different government and non-government organizations, international donor agencies.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)