In Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, CARE implements USAID’s Promoting Resilience to Risks of Natural Hazards (PRERONA) project that helped communities build resilience to face natural hazards and disasters. This southernmost part of the country is prone to natural disasters such as cyclone, landslides and heavy monsoon rain. Through renovations of the Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters (MPCS), communities now have safe, and accessible schools that function as shelters on the onset of any natural disasters. The project also worked with local communities to enhance their capacities for disaster preparedness, increase resilience, reduce climate change impact and ensure continuity of education. The project supported the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), particularly the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and the local government, to maintain facilities that are essential for disaster preparedness of the local communities.
Usaba and Fabiha, twin sisters, attend Poshim Gomatoli Government Primary School, one of the many schools that has been refurbished by PRERONA project as Multi-purpose Cyclone Shelter in Cox’s Bazar. As part of the project to enhance local capacity for disaster resilience, Usaba participated in a mock stimulation for disaster preparedness. She and her fellow classmates learned first-hand as to how to handle stretcher, wheelchair, thermometer and first aid kit, “With the knowledge from this training I will now be able to inform and aware my community about using these emergency items and ensure sustainable utilization”, shared Usaba. Meanwhile Fabiha received tree saplings that would further ensure the balance of nature in this disaster-prone south-western region.
“We have internalized the slogan ‘Take care of the trees and the trees will take care of us’. Now that we have received these saplings, I will be able to plant them around our home and maintain ecological balance and help the community at large.” said the sisters.