As part of the initiative 'Safe Dhaka City', a webinar and workshop was held on Thursday under the Urban Resilience Project. Local and international experts in the field of urban resilience discussed what happens if Dhaka undergoes an earthquake as the city lies near three major fault lines, making it highly susceptible to earthquakes. It is assumed that if a major earthquake occurs, half of the buildings in Dhaka will be damaged- many beyond repair.
Abdul Latif Helaly, Director of Urban Resilience Project (PD), Swarna Kazi of the World Bank, Dr Kimiro Meguro of RTI International, Dr Kit Miyamoto of Miyamoto International, Dr Mehedi Ahmed Ansary of the Dept of Civil Engineering, BUET, and renowned structural expert Dr Raquib Ahsan, was present among the panelists.
Disaster imagination is central to encouraging government officials, professionals, educators, and the general public to demand and engage in disaster risk reduction. The crucial first step to improving urban resilience is to first imagine what will happen during a disaster if the city is not resilient. Only in this way will key actors fully understand the role they must play in preventing disaster risks.
Engr Helaly said, "Enhancing disaster safety requires strong participation from everyone such as Architects and engineers; Technicians; Government and policymakers; Contractors; Engineering and architect students; civil society; Private sector; and General public. It is not only RAJUK's business, it's everyone's business. I'm confident that the Disaster Imagination campaign will help audiences to understand how the world around us will change in a moment in a disaster."
"To make Dhaka city more disaster-resilient, the mindset of the people has to be resilient too" said DRM Expert and Team Leader of RTI International, Dr Kimiro Meguro. There were discussions about if any way of predicting and staying safe from natural calamities is possible, how to set up the common channels in case of network is down during disaster structure checking and retrofitting the buildings should be a must.
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