The Japan International Cooperation Agency-funded project "Promoting Building Safety for Disaster Risk Reduction" ended on Saturday, leaving 1,907 public and private sector engineers, architects and government officials trained on making earthquake-resilient buildings.
The seven-year project, implemented by the Public Works Department, organised a total of 54 seminars, formulated a manual for designing earthquake-tolerant establishments, and increased resilience of several government buildings through retrofitting technology across the country, said Md Sharif Ahmed, state minister for housing and public works.
The BSPP project created an opportunity for the country's architects and engineers to get new experiences, technologies and technical collaboration from their Japanese counterparts, the state minister said while addressing the closing workshop of the project in a hotel in the capital.
Sharif said they would further create another platform with the Japanese agency for such a technology transfer and collaboration.
Japan has a huge experience in constructing earthquake-resilient establishments, he said, adding that Jica was helping Bangladesh in many other ways to make buildings disaster-resilient.
Public Works Secretary Md Shahid Ullah Khandaker, BSPP Project Director Shafiqul Islam, its Manager Md Rafiquil Islam, and PWD Training Academy Director Md Sohel Rahman, Team Leader for JET for BSPP Fumio Kaneko, and Jica Chief Representative Yuho Hayakawa, Jica Country Programme Coordinator Naoki Matsumura were present, among others at the event.
"The main objective of the BSPP project was to promote building safety, conduct theoretical and on-job training on retrofit design, retrofit construction, fire safety etc," the manager of the project Rafiqul Islam said.
Md Sohel Rahman said, "We can ensure a complete solution of retrofitting design and construction. Public Works Department design engineers are now more confident regarding the retrofit design and construction."
Of the people who received training with the project, 207 were from private firms, he added.
According to a survey of Jica, 71% of buildings in Dhaka had been at risk of a major earthquake, higher than 7.5M on the Richter scale, while 29% were marked as safe in 2010.
Of the total, 49% were at the risk of damage and 22% of collapse, in case of any major earthquake.
Later in 2015, Bangladesh launched the project to promote building safety.