Risk and Disaster Management

Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries of the world. Almost every year, the country experiences disasters of one kind or another and people are jeopardized with cyclones, tidal surge, tornadoes, floods, drought, salinity, river erosion, etc causing heavy loss of life, crops and other properties. In the affected areas, poor people fall into different vulnerable situations. In other words, these devastating disasters put at risk the development activities of the country. In order to protect the poor people from the disaster, Padakhep has incorporated relief and rehabilitation activities into its disaster management programs. Disaster management and rehabilitation activities of Padakhep are strategically integrated into its poverty alleviation program.

Major Activities
(a) Enhancing Resilience to Disaster and the Effect of Climate Change Program

Enhancing Resilience to Disaster and the Effect of Climate Change Project (ER program) is a part of the WFP Country Program, specially designed to reduce vulnerability of the monga affected ultra poor people. After successful completion of Enhance Resilience (ER) project from 2008 to 2010, the project started its activities afresh from November 2010 in the name of Disaster Risk Reduction/Enhance Resilience (DRR/ER) Program considering the issue of climate change. World Food Program finances the program while technical support is provided by LGED. The program aims at promoting sustainable food security and livelihood of the rural ultra poor households. Padakhep has been implementing the project in 8 Upazilas of Kurigram district.

It follows a participatory approach where the targeted community and project participants play the central role in the planning and implementation of activities including the food management. The program also develops skills and disaster preparedness and survival capability during crisis and post-disaster period through Food for Training (FFT) and also to reinforce household food securities through Food for Assets (FFA). The program promotes human and community resource development among the vulnerable communities by providing awareness and training on disaster risk reduction/preparedness issues, enabling participants to work on community infrastructure development of the disaster preparedness and developing mitigation plans for the communities in disaster prone areas.

Major objectives of the program are to:

  • Reach ultra-poor rural women with a set of complementing inputs toward improving their nutrition and enhancing their livelihood and self-reliance.
  • Improve food security and nutritional well-being of ultra poor households.
(b) Haor Initiatives for Sustainable Alternative Livelihood (HISAL) Project

Padakhep is committed to the people of the geographically backward places to make available services including microfinance considering the distressed situation of the area. Padakhep has been working in the haor region of north-east Bangladesh since 2006. HISAL project was launched seeking to address the problems of livelihood insecurity, vulnerability and inadequacies of government resources and services in the haor region. Padakhep is included in the project as a microfinance partner.

Realizing the fact that certain friendly, creative and innovative products and initiatives can bring significant changes in the microfinance services provided to the poor, PKSF has launched a special fund titled ‘Learning and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT)’ that would trigger innovations in the microfinance sector to make the microcredit program more dynamic, productive and diversified. With the support of LIFT, a number of organizations came forward with innovative ideas that were successfully implemented in the field. ‘Alternative Micro-credit Initiative for the Extreme Poor of the Haor Region’ undertaken by Padakhep was conceived for implementation with strong financial support from PKSF under its LIFT program (now renamed as Haor Initiatives for Sustainable Alternative Livelihood-HISAL Project). It is the innovative initiative of Padakhep that was specifically designed to meet one of the key development challenges in the haor areas viz. poor coverage of the traditional micro-credit facilities in the areas. Padakhep has been implementing alternative micro credit approach in 5 (five) deep haor Upazilas such as Nikli, Mithamoin and Aushtogram of Kishoregonj district, Azmirigonj of Habigonj district and Sulla of Shunamgonj district in association with PKSF.

Major objectives of the program are to:

  • Create micro-credit opportunity for the poor people in haor region and protect them from the traditional moneylenders.
  • Create employment opportunity for poor households under Self-help Groups (SHGs) in remote and isolated haor areas through 30 CBOs (Community-based organizations).
  • Create easy payment and easy service charge facilities for the extreme poor.
  • Introduce a sustainable and low-cost model of micro-credit for hard core poor people through CBOs.
  • Assist haor poor people in undertaking innovative income generating activities.
  • Increase mobility and create social linkage with the women of haor areas.
  • Introduce a sustainable and low-cost model of micro-credit for hard-core poor people through CBOs.
  • Assist poor people of haor in taking up innovative income generating activities (IGAs).