Civil society organisations (CSOs) Monday demanded that post-flood rehabilitation programmes, especially in the haor regions, be implemented through local organisations.
"In any disaster, the local people and organisations are the first to stand beside the people hit by any disaster. So, the capacity of local organisations should be increased; the post-flood rehabilitation activities in the haor regions must be implemented by them," they said at an online press conference organised by BDCSO process, a network of about 700 national and local CSOs and NGOs.
Abdul Karim Kim, general secretary of BDCSO Sylhet division, presided over the press conference moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, national coordinator of BDCSO Process.
BDCSO Sylhet Division President Tofazzal Sohel said several organisations, including the United Nations, had surveyed the impact of the recent floods. "In addition to assessing the damage, they also verified the need for post-flood rehabilitation."
"It is really good if international organisations stand beside the people along with the government. But we are, as always, inspired by the role of local people and local organisations during floods. Recognising this role, we believe, the UN agencies and INGOs should fund the implementation of post-flood rehabilitation programmes through local organisations as they understand the needs of local people best, and they can be more effective in implementing the programmes."
Rezaul said the role of international organisations is important, but they should limit their activities to fundraising, technical assistance and monitoring. "Field-level activities should be implemented by local organisations and the whole process should be coordinated by the government."
AWARD Executive Director Abul Kalam Azad, ADAB Sylhet Division Coordinator Babul Akhter, ADAB Sylhet District President ATM Badrul Islam, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology Professor Zahirul Haque Shakil, and Disaster expert and writer Gowhar Naeem Wara also spoke.
Azad said: "We have been working with the local people for a long time. So, if any programme is implemented through us, it is more likely to be sustainable."
Zahirul said: "I saw a person spending Tk40,000 to get relief of Tk10,000 taka. He could get assistance of Tk50,000, had the relief been distributed through a local organisation."
Wara said it is now very important to determine what is needed for local rehabilitation. "This demand needs to be verified by the local agencies working in the field."