III. INTEGRATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTO DECISION- MAKING FOR FLOOD LOSS REDUCTION
G. Decision-making procedure for integration of projects into development planning
6. Disaster managementBased on past experiences of natural hazards, including river and cyclonic floods, the government has issued standing orders from time to time which have been compiled recently by the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB, 1997) of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. These orders cover activities during:
- pre-disaster phase
- awareness and warning phase
- disaster phase (once a natural calamity takes place)
- post-disaster phase
For policy formulation and coordination of activities with regard to disaster management, the following institutional arrangements at the national level have been made:
i) National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) headed by the Prime Minister: All the ministries and defence forces have representation in this council with either the Minister or Secretary or both as members. The Secretary, Council of Ministers, acts as Member Secretary of this topmost level council.
ii) Inter-Ministerial Disaster Management Coordination Committee: This committee is headed by the Minister in Charge of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. The committee also has representation from the Planning Commission, concerned line ministries, government agencies/directorates and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. The major responsibility of this committee is to oversee implementation of the decisions of the NDMC and to coordinate disaster management related activities of all government agencies/organizations. In addition, this committee also recommends programmes/projects with regard to disaster prevention or disaster mitigation measures to the NDMC for their ultimate incorporation into the National Development Plan.
iii) National Disaster Management Advisory Committee: This committee is headed by an experienced/knowledgeable expert in disaster management as nominated by the Prime Minister. Members of this committee are: Parliament Members of the disaster-prone areas, professionals/ experts from universities, NGO's, aid agencies and others. The Director-General, DMB, acts as the Member-Secretary. This committee is intended to advise NDMC, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and DMB, on matters related to disaster management (particularly risk and mitigation possibilities).
In planning for pre-disaster and post-disaster coping strategies, the government is aware of the need of people's participation in decision-making. This is evident from the disaster-related standing orders (DMB, 1997) mentioned earlier. These orders refer to tasks to be carried out at all levels of government administration as well as peoples' organizations. Moreover, specific guidelines are also available within these standing orders with regard to approaches and techniques for disaster management in which due consideration is given to environmental impacts.
There is a provision for preparing separate plans for disaster management at Union, Thana and District levels. These plans are prepared and implemented by the disaster management committees formed at these levels with both government and non-government representatives. The guidelines for such committees in coping with disasters at different phases are provided by the government through the DMB, and are, in effect, government standing orders relating to disasters (pre- and post-disaster actions) and people's participation.