Bangladesh

Be ready to deal with long-lasting flood

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the authorities concerned to make preparations in advance to face any possible long-term flood as forecasted by the meteorological department.

She gave the directive during the weekly cabinet meeting. The PM chaired the virtual meeting through videoconferencing from the Gono Bhaban, while the other cabinet members joined from the secretariat.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, "The prime minister has made us aware especially of the flash flood in mid of the Bangla month Bhadra [at the end of this month] which may prevail for a longer time."

The PM asked the authorities concerned to quicken the rehabilitation since the water level of the major rivers such as the Padma and the Jamuna have continued to decline for the last few days, Anwarul told the briefing at the secretariat.

A rehabilitation programme, which has been taken to this end, would be implemented in three phases, he added.

The cabinet secretary said the LGRD ministry has been tasked with reconstructing or repairing the damaged infrastructures and the water development board with repairing the embankments damaged by the floods

He said a huge allocation has been made in this regard.

Hasina also asked the authorities concerned to take special care of the production of the Ropa Aman (T-Aman) to ensure food security.

"The prime minister directed us to take special care on the production of Ropa Aman as the seeds of Aman were destroyed due to the ongoing floods," Anwarul said.

She also advised the authorities concerned to plant water tolerant varieties (of paddy) comparatively on higher places as Aman seeds were destroyed.

The cabinet secretary said the agriculture ministry has received a huge allocation to this end.

'MAKE PEOPLE AWARE OF USING MASK'

Meanwhile, the government has asked the field-level administrations to conduct mobile court operations alongside gearing up awareness campaigns to make people aware of using masks to stem the spread of the Covid-19.

"We have held talks at the cabinet meeting about measures to check the spread of coronavirus," said the cabinet secretary.

He said they have asked the field-level administrations to take appropriate measures for enforcement of law and conduct massive awareness campaigns to encourage people to follow the health guidelines properly, particularly about wearing masks.

Anwarul said nowadays it is seen that awareness on wearing masks among many people has declined.

"We will have to make the people more aware of it. So we have asked the field administrations to visit the spots physically and make people aware by using loudspeakers and installing billboards."

Mobile court could be operated in some cases and the media should cover the drives properly to help make people aware, the cabinet secretary said.

"If the people come to know that some people have been punished through mobile courts in buses, markets and other places for not wearing masks, they will become aware of it," he said.

Referring to the Sunday's secretary-level meeting, he said they have given necessary directives to the authorities regarding measures to check the spread of the virus.

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