Challenges in Reducing the Number of Disaster Victims in Bangladesh
Natural disasters cause immense damage to a country’s economy and society; it is therefore crucial that most countries have policies for effective disaster management. Bangladesh, in particular, has long been considered as one of the most disaster-vulnerable countries in the world. Due to the climatic and geographic conditions, poor disaster management infrastructure, poor governance, and high population density, Bangladesh is exposed to a high risk of natural disasters, such as tropical cyclones, floods, land erosion, water logging, drought, a rising sea level, arsenic contamination of ground water, and earthquakes. In the 1970s, Bangladesh had the highest number of disaster victims among neighboring countries. More recently, however, due to the development of disaster management programs, the country has had remarkable success in reducing the number of victims (GoB 2008; Mallick et al. 2011a). In fact, while the cyclones in 1970 and 1991 saw a loss of 250,000 and 140,000 lives, respectively, the death toll from cyclone Sidr in 2007 was 3363.
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