On December 3, 2020, a launching ceremony of Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter (MPCS) took place in Ramu, Cox’s Bazar. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Mr. Ronjit Kumar Sen, and USAID/Bangladesh Mission Director, Derrick Brown, inaugurated the shelter while other officials from the Government of Bangladesh, USAID and CARE Bangladesh were present. This is one of the 12 cyclone shelters that have been renovated recently and is one of the 50 already refurbished out of a total of 96 planned under the project - Promoting Resilience to Risks of Natural Hazards (PRERONA), funded by USAID and implemented by CARE Bangladesh.
During the event, Mr. Ronjit Kumar Sen said, “I wish glorious success and future praiseworthy activity with such quality from USAID and CARE which will enable in supporting the vulnerable communities of Bangladesh in DRR and disaster management. So special thanks to USAID and CARE for taking and implementing this great initiative.”
Mr. Derrick Brown stated, “We are pleased to hand over 12 refurbished shelters including this one today. These refurbished shelters are impressive, with modern solar power, water harvesting, and supply systems as well as separate washrooms for boys and girls. But what makes me even more proud – is this will build resilience of the local people during natural disasters. In addition to functioning as shelters during cyclones, these facilities will serve as schools – providing child-friendly learning spaces, so children from surrounding communities can access life-changing education.”
Situated at the Uttar Mithachari Government Primary School, this shelter can accommodate more than 1,500 people during a cyclone and will provide classroom space for up to 400 students. USAID is also providing support for the construction of an additional 25 new Multi-Purpose Disaster Shelters (MPDS) in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban through a joint project being implemented by CARE, Save the Children, and local partner, GRAUS.
PRERONA project works upon the concept of “Safe School for Children, Safe Shelter for All," thus, provides vulnerable communities with disaster-resilient shelters to serve a dual-purpose — as safe shelters during storms and as schools during non-disaster periods. In the 50 shelters refurbished so far, located at Ramu, Maheshkhali, Chakaria, and Cox’s Bazar Sadar, the project installed separate washroom facilities, safe drinking water systems, ramp facilities, emergency exits, alternate power sources, improved access roads, learning spaces, and educational materials. The project also equipped all the shelter facilities with emergency response equipment to support early search and rescue operations by trained community volunteers.