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Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) is an organization for sustainable development and NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC)

Urban Community Volunteers save lives from landslide during heavy monsoon

Volunteers in action

YPSA advocates about urban community volunteer activities while attending different meeting arranged by Hill Management Committee under Department of Environment. In last meetings in the month of May and June 2021, this department has given responsibility of Miahr Pahar (Minar Hill) to YPSA to work with volunteers during rainy season to move informal settlers. On this regard, AC land of Chandgaon Circle land Office, Mamnun Ahmed Anik, and AC and Magistrate of land Acquisition department, Nayeema Islam coordinates with YPSA for volunteer service during recent heavy monsoon to move informal settlers.

Coordination meeting

As district officials ask for coordination YPSA has called their trained UCVs from Ward 8 and Ward 7 of Chattogram City Corporation to move as a first responder while heavy rainfall at the end of July, 2021. In total 43 volunteers (Ward8-29, Ward 7-14) worked as first responder. They coordinated with ward councilors and secretary of Ward Disaster Management Committee (WDMC) from their respective area to work in unity.

UCV from Ward 7 moved 7 families to a safe place from Miahr Pahar (hill) and 5 families from Tankir Pahar (hill). In addition, UCVs of Ward 8 also helped 110 vulnerable families from Khulshir pahar to move to Chattogram Governement Model School and College for shelter, led by their councilor and Secretary of WDMC, Md Morshed Alam.

Later City Mayor, M Rezaul Karim Chawdhury arranged food for the day and distributed hygiene kits for asylum seeker.

Though Bangladesh government considers people living at the edge of hills are illegal, they think they are the legal owners of the place. This complexity of ownership makes people living near the hill areas more prone to landslides. It remains very tough to shift those people to safe place during heavy monsoon. Department of environment has formed Hill Management Committee and has been doing awareness among those people about the vulnerabilities of lives, wealth and environment due to unplanned hill cuts.

As there are history of death of informal settlers during monsoon in Chattogram City Corporation areas, Department of Environment has been arranging meeting among related government officials and other stakeholders. YPSA has been advocating to District office for disaster risk reduction in urban areas under Proyash II project with the support of Save the Children. Moreover, YPSA has trained 150 urban community volunteers (UCV) by FSCD to work as first responder during any disaster and emergency. These volunteers have been working hard to move people from the edge of the hills during heavy monsoon by their own.

Working with Government officials during this monsoon to save people living in informal settlement refer to recognition for UCVs hard work as first responder and Proyash II’s activities towards building urban resilience.

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