People in the country have not yet become aware of natural disaster response protocols due to lack of adequate formal and informal education programs, according to a study of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
Consequently, people end up with huge loss and damage of assets during natural disasters.
BIDS says the government achieved widespread policy success and recognition at the local and international level, but due to problems in implementation, some government policies are proving to be ineffective in various contexts
The study findings were presented at a BIDS Fortnightly Seminar titled "The New Determinants of Household Disaster Preparedness Behavior and Policy Efficacy on Bangladeshi Households" held in the BIDS conference room on Wednesday.
Presenting the findings, Azreen Karim, research fellow, BIDS said despite widespread policy successes at the local and international level, non-adherence to some of the government policies still remains, which translates to their ineffectiveness in various contexts.
For example, vulnerable people are often found reluctant to leave their homes and assets due to the lack of security despite early warning or they often look for high land near their homes or take shelter on embankments rather than flood shelters, she added.
According to the study, public awareness interventions might not be fully effective without a high perception and knowledge level regarding climate change and disaster risk impacts in the short to medium and longer term.
Household response and government action complement one another in most cases, though the efficacy of household responses could heavily depend on other public interventions and responses as well. In some cases, effectiveness of the policies in terms of the uptake of preparedness measures might depend on the behavioral responses of households, it added.
Azreen Karim said "Deliberation of the "what to do list" in formal education (via textbooks) might not lead to full effectiveness of these policies in many cases; rather, informal education and designated short-term skill based education programs might address several of these issues, including enhanced resilience gained through knowledge and perception."
Short-term and disaster-specific "72-hour early warning-based preparedness education programs" and/or "3-5-day flood forecasting model-based preparedness education program" were recommended as potential solutions that require further research.