Utilizing forecast information for monsoon preparedness in Bangladesh

As parts of Bangladesh are facing severe flooding, early warning advisories are underway under the stewardship of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) and Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC), to reduce risks due to anticipated flooding in the region.

The 14th National Monsoon Forum, organized by BMD earlier in May, had indicated an above-normal rainfall outlook with a potential for floods in Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) basins. Therefore, short duration and low magnitude floods are expected in some areas of the northwestern region, including the Bogura district and parts of Cox's Bazar in the southeast.

To aid preparedness in Bogura, FFWC broadcasted voice messages to 113 focal persons in seven vulnerable unions under Sariakandi Sub-district, including disaster management committee members and school teachers. The voice messages contained important forecast warnings from the FFWC and advisories from stakeholder institutions such as the Department of Fisheries, Department of Livestock Services, and Department of Agricultural Extension. Furthermore, comprehensive forecast information including two-weeks special flood outlooks, medium range forecast bulletin and local level flood bulletins, were also disseminated to the concerned government officials from FFWC through their email.

Meanwhile in Cox’s Bazar, the authorities have issued flash flood and landslide alert bulletins for the local government officials and the humanitarian partners, including Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG). The authorities are utilizing the INSTANT portal, developed by RIMES in collaboration with the BMD, to monitor these events. The local administration of the Ukhiya Upazila in Cox's Bazar has instructed the evacuation of vulnerable people living on the hills and foothills. ISCG has also requested the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) members to alert/prepare different emergency response units for the Rohingya camp areas.

RIMES is currently supporting BMD and FFWC, to build climate resilience in Bangladesh through improved access and use of early warning information among last mile users. Forecast-based anticipatory actions in two pilot sites – Bogura (Northwest) and Cox's Bazar (Southeastern) are implemented through ‘Strengthening Last Mile Communication (SLMC) in South Asia’ in partnership with UCAR with funding from USAID.