As one of the most disaster-prone districts in Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar is often subjected to cyclones, monsoons, strong winds, floods, landslides and other natural hazards. These disasters can cause mass casualties, disrupt humanitarian access, and severely damage shelters as well as critical facilities.
With Bangladesh’s monsoon season underway, IOM is working to secure infrastructure and boost the resilience of both Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Special attention has been given to the refugees living in the three camps gutted by the fire that occurred in March. “When the rains hit, an emergency situation will be inevitable. It is crucial we work together now to mitigate the risks before the disaster occurs,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “We need to be able to respond swiftly and effectively during such crises.”
IOM is assessing the risk of landslides, strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and upgrading key pathways. IOM and its implementing partners have also trained and equipped 10 mobile medical teams and 350 community health workers to act as first responders, while 11 ambulances are ready to respond.
In close collaboration with local authorities, IOM supports early warning systems for host communities. A total of 1,655 volunteers have been trained to respond to cyclones and 20 multipurpose shelters have been made accessible for emergency evacuation.
Thousands of refugees and host community members have received search and rescue and first aid training, with support from the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Department. Those trained will act as community focal points in emergency situations, spreading early warning messages and assisting the frontline response.
IOM and its partners have trained an additional 100 volunteers in each camp on cyclone preparedness and the flag warning system. These volunteers are now disseminating awarenessraising messagesto community members and responding to community requests