Natural disasters claim 1.8 percent of Bangladesh’s gross domestic product and shut down most rural schools, stated Directorate of Primary Education Deputy Director (Planning and Development) Dr Md Nurul Amin Chowdhury on 10 April 2018.
Pollution claims the lives of 1.7 million children every year as per World Health Organization, said Narayanganj City Corporation Urban Planner Md Moinul Islam.
Dhaka city traffic claims two hours of a child’s life on an average every day while most children in Farmgate are suffering from lung diseases, said Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon Joint Secretary Iqbal Habib.
The grim figures came at a two-day symposium on “Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and Comprehensive School Safety” at BRAC Centre Inn in the capital’s Mohakhali starting 9 April 2018.
The Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER) of BRAC University, C&A, C&A Foundation, BRAC and Save the Children hosted the event.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies Executive Director Dr Atiq Rahman said even if governments and development partners implement the Paris agreement, the global temperature this century would still rise at least by 3.7 degree Celsius.
He recommended providing facilities so that two-thirds of Dhaka city’s population can live at least 20 kilometres away but still come and go to perform their daily work.
Iqbal Habib put emphasis on stronger efforts of public representatives, saying Rajshahi City Corporation stood out among world cities reducing harmful air particles by 67.2 percent in just two years through removal of brick kilns and ensuring greenery at all available spaces.
A research associate of Urban Studio, Department of Geography and Environment, the University of Dhaka, Nazmoon Nahar Sumiya, presented a “Little Climate Champ” app which educated students on disaster issues.
Moreover a college student suggested giving training on adopting emergency measures for disasters at school and colleges.
Professor Emeritus Ainun Nishat, an adviser of C3ER, said expressed hope of minimising risks facing children, such as changing patterns of diseases for climate change, with greater effort and consciousness.
Other researchers, planners and practitioners emphasised on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and safety focusing on children and women are most vulnerable to climate change both physically and mentally.
All agreed to be more child-sensitive during urban planning and giving importance to ideas of children and youth in policymaking.