Bangladesh

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Floods in Bangladesh in 2019. Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is leveraging space-based information to support government and humanitarian agencies in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with timely information for flood early warning and inundation mapping. The efforts, which consist of developing a streamflow prediction system for flood early warning and of providing near real-time flood maps for disaster response, come as the monsoon floods in the region are worsening and compunding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based at ICIMOD, the streamflow prediction system to support flood early warning is being developed through the SERVIR-HKH initiative, which benefits from technical assistance from NASA and the Bringham Young University. The system provides 15-day streamflow... read more

Publishing Date: 19/08/2020
Image: UNFPA.

In the latest example of anticipatory humanitarian action, the United Nations released $5.2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help communities in Bangladesh prepare themselves ahead of major monsoon floods. The allocation of funds to agencies in the country to prepare to deliver support was triggered by a forecast from the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), which predicted areas having a greater than 50 per cent chance of experiencing a severe flood between 14 and 16 July. Following a second forecast by the Government’s Flood Forecasting & Warning Centre (FFWC) on 11 July, aid workers began distributing the aid.

The swift assistance provided in Bangladesh comes as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock has agreed to allocate up to $140 million from the UN... read more

Publishing Date: 21/07/2020
Satellite image over the eastern part of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. Image: European Space Agency.

To support emergency response efforts, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has mapped the extent of floods in Bangladesh following Cyclone Amphan, which caused widespread damage in the country and neighboring India in mid-May. The maps are based on Sentinel-1 radar imagery. Radar satellite data is commonly used for flood mapping purposes due to its ability to make measurements irrespective of daytime and cloud cover of the scene.

By providing an overview of the extent of inundation caused by the floods, these maps are useful in the context of disaster management, as humanitarian agencies are able to detect areas that have been affected by the floods the most and can coordinate relief and rescue activities accordingly. 

The tropical cyclone caused at least 96 deaths in Bangladesh and inflicted substantial damage to... read more

Publishing Date: 09/06/2020
Flood inundation map developed using Sentinel-1 satellite data, as part of the rapid mapping response under the SERVIR-HKH Initiative at ICIMOD. Map: Kabir Uddin/ICIMOD.

In July 2019, Bangladesh, India and Nepal experienced floods and landslides during the South Asian monsoon season. On the night of the 17 July, the Jamuna river in Bangladesh broke through the embankment, inundating over 40 villages and displacing more than 200,000 people. Experts of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, prepared flood inundation maps after the floods struck Bangladesh. By making use of free satellite data from the Sentinel-1 satellite of the Copernicus programme, ICIMOD experts were able to create maps that give a synoptic overview of the extent of inundation caused by the floods.

Flood inundation maps aid disaster management agencies in prioritizing relief and rescue missions in flood affected areas. These endeavors illustrate the usefulness of satellite data in emergency response: Maps play a crucial role in planning effective and efficient emergency response... read more

Publishing Date: 25/09/2019
Report on Mapping Multiple Climate-related Hazards in South Asia

Countries experience multiple climate-related risks that vary spatially and in time, with the combined impact of such risks carrying severe consequences for the population. A new collaborative research study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) identifies the need to carry out regional level assessments of these risks in South Asia.

The IWMI Research Report 170 suggests methods for mapping such climate-related risks and estimating their subsequent impacts. Space-based information is a key component in this context and supports efforts to estimate the impact on people and agriculture in South Asia.

Regional, national and sub-national assessments of five related risks - floods, droughts, extreme rainfall, extreme temperature and sea-level rise, were carried out in the region. The... read more

Publishing Date: 04/07/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Bihar is the most flood prone state in India (Image: NASA)

The International Water Management Institute, UN-SPIDER’s regional Support Office, organised together with the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) a day long workshop in Patna, India, to present a new project on the development of the Index‐Based Flood Insurance (IBFI) on August 1.

Due to the constant floods India is facing every year and the huge losses these events produce, the IBFI project aims to implement the use of space technologies such as remote sensing images and geographic information systems (GIS) in order to improve the insurance's payout processes. Along with flood hazard models, these technologies can help developing reliable flood parameters for insurances, speed the compensation and therefore reduce harms for low-income communities from flood prone areas.

“Through this project we want to increase the agriculture resilience of the vulnerable farmers in flood prone regions. This is a first of its kind attempt... read more

Publishing Date: 06/08/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Participants discuss projects' outcomes presented in posters (Image: ICIMOD)

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office based in Nepal, has supported research grants and small scale application development projects under the SERVIR-Himalaya initiative.

Projects coming from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan related to environmental issues such as flood forecasting, forest fire management, landslide hazard, agricultural monitoring, and biomass estimation were selected during a one-year period and examined by members of communities from their study areas to incorporate local context and perspectives.

The outcomes of the projects show through several practices how Earth observation tools can help communities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region facing environmental problems. Among the issues addressed within the different projects were: the improvement of existing flood forecasting system and landslide early warning systems in... read more

Publishing Date: 15/07/2015
Colombia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh will receive Esri's support to become more climate-resilient (Image: US Navy)

Colombia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh will receive Esri’s support to enhance their climate resilience. They will learn how to visualize, understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Together with the White House and six other institutions, Esri will contribute through tools and trainings to the climate-resilient development of these three countries. Esri has already established a collaborative resource portal for Ethiopia on its online mapping and analysis platform, ArcGIS online, and is planning a further implementation in Colombia and Bangladesh.

“Climate change is a global issue that brings together government, utilities, non-governmental organizations, sophisticated cities, and developing countries. There is no single entity that can help developing countries plan for and adapt to climate change. But by uniting our resources, experience, and unique capabilities, this partnership can make a difference,” stated Jack Dangermond, Esri president.

The... read more

Publishing Date: 11/06/2015
The new agreement is aimed to provide assistance to all Saarc member states affected by disasters (Image: Krish Dulal)

An agreement signed by all South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and India) is underway to promote a rapid response to natural disasters.

A Saarc monitoring system including tools for early warning system and risk mitigation could ease the humanitarian and technical assistance in member states when affected by natural disasters, facilitating for instance disaster relief or information on potential risks.

India is taking a leading role in setting up the system and is committed to provide technical assistance to all member states, besides manpower and financial support, as The Times of India informed.

"New Delhi was signatory to an agreement in Jakarta this January to develop a standard operating procedure for the region," said Santosh Kumar, director of Saarc Disaster Management Centre and executive director of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

Publishing Date: 29/04/2015
Approximately 6.5 million people were affected in the region (Image: HDX)

On Saturday, 25 April 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and India with several aftershocks following on Saturday and Sunday. GDACS estimates that 6.5 million people are affected. Several actors from the satellite and mapping communities have become active in supporting response efforts in the region; particularly in Nepal, which was most severely affected.

  • Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) was activated by EC Services|DG ECHO. Maps are available at the EMS webpage. Regular updates on mapping products are also available via subscription to the Copernicus EMS RSS feed.
  • The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters... read more
Publishing Date: 27/04/2015
Damages caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines in 2013 (Image: Eoghan Rice - Trócaire / Caritas)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will train government and community officials as well as volunteers in the Philippines and Bangladesh in the use of satellite-based tools to face natural disasters.

The officials will learn how to combine satellite-based hazard maps with local government maps of vulnerable areas to better assess potential natural disaster. ADB will also teach them to use the open source tool OpenStreetMap and smartphone apps to collect information for pre-disaster planning, evacuations and timely delivery of relief.

“Countries which are vulnerable to catastrophes need more information-based disaster risk management and response tools to prepare better before disasters strike, and to respond better after earthquakes, floods or typhoons hit,” said Yusuke Muraki, infrastructure specialist of ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department. 

Publishing Date: 24/04/2015
Snow-fed rivers and heavy rains are major causes of flooding in Bangladesh (Image: Shahnoor Habib Munmun)

The Bangladeshi Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) can now better predict disasters caused by floods thanks to the JASON-2 satellite, developed by SERVIR and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

The monsoon rains together with snow-fed rivers cause annual inundations in the country between March and September, damaging crops and properties and even resulting in loss of lives.

An experiment conducted last year by the FFWC using data from the JASON-2 satellite, showed that flood warnings can be issued eight days in advance instead of only three or four as it used to be. The JASON-2 satellite is capable of accurately measuring water levels in rivers from points beyond the borders of Bangladesh on a near-real-time basis.

“The new technology helps to instantly translate data and forecast flood within about 30 minutes,” said Mohammad Amirul Hossain, FFWC executive engineer. 

Publishing Date: 23/04/2015
Participants of the training course in Dhaka, Bangladesh

From 5 to 9 April 2015, UN-SPIDER and the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in Bangladesh jointly organised the five-day course "Earth observation technologies for disaster damage and loss assessment" in Dhaka.

The course strengthened damage and loss assessment by teaching the use of satellite images to contribute to damage and loss assessment. It provided DDM and important stakeholder departments with easy, rapid and accurate ways of assessing damage and loss during disasters using satellite remote sensing. It more specifically imparted skills on using satellite remote sensing for multi-hazard risk assessment, damage assessment of important sectors like agriculture, housing, road infrastructure and demography.

Experts from eight organisations contributed to the training by conducting lectures and hands-on sessions: National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Centre for Integrated Mountain... read more

Publishing Date: 10/04/2015
The two training programmes aim to strengthen the capacities of Bangladesh and Bhutan to effectively use satellite-based information for disaster risk reduction (Image: NASA)

UN-SPIDER is planning to conduct two training programmes in April. 

From 5 to 9 April 2015, the programme is jointly organizing the five-day course "Earth observation technologies for disaster damage and loss assessment" in Dhaka, Bangladesh with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in Bangladesh.

It aims to strengthen damage and loss assessment by teaching the use of satellites images to contribute to damage and loss assessment. It will allow DDM and important stakeholder departments with easy, rapid and accurate ways of assessing damage and loss during disasters using satellite remote sensing. It more specifically aims to impart skills on using satellite remote sensing for multi-hazard risk assessment, damage assessment of important sectors like agriculture, housing, road infrastructure and demography. Experts from the following organisations are contributing to the training by conducting lectures and hands-on sessions: National Disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 01/04/2015
Bangladesh: Capacity Building on Space Technologies

UN-SPIDER organised a a Capacity Building Programme in Bangladesh from 12 to 16 May 2013 on topic “Space Technology for Flood Hazard Mapping, Flood Forecast and Rapid Mapping in Bangladesh”. The programme was jointly organised with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) and Space Research and Remote Sensing Organisation (SPARSO) of Bangladesh. The training was inaugurated by the Secretary of Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and is a follow-up activity of the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Bangladesh in June 2011. A total of 20 officials from 17 government departments participated in the programme.

The training covered a wide range of topics such as an overview of the role of Earth Observation in disaster management, the regional plan of action on promoting Space and GIS applications for... read more

Publishing Date: 22/05/2013
Flood area map created by the International Charter for Bangladesh in 2009

On 15 May, 2013, UNITAR/UNOSAT, on behalf of UNOCHA, activated the International Charter Space and Major Disasters to obtain satellite-derived image-products for the impact of tropical cyclone Mahasen.

Cyclone Mahasen struck the southern coast of Bangladesh, on 16 May 2013, and is expected to affect as much as 8.2 million people in the area. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate in advance of the oncoming storm in Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar.

While the storm has not been classified as severe, the main concerns are about the resulting floods and landslides left in the cyclone's wake. This was evident in Sri Lanka, where at least seven people were killed in floods and mudslides even though the cyclone did not make landfall in the country.

There are reports that two people have been killed in Bangladesh, so far, and fifty people were killed in Myanmar while attempting to evacuate by boat on 14 May. It is forecast that Cyclone... read more

Publishing Date: 17/05/2013

Image shows anomalies in rainfall between July 14 and July 20, 2009. Most of India and Bangladesh are brown, showing that less rain fell than average during the week. One of India’s primary crop areas is in the north, where less rain has fallen. According to BBC News, Bangladesh had received 40 percent less monsoon rain than normal by July 20, triggering fears of food shortages. (Source NASA)

More information: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=39481
 

Publishing Date: 29/07/2009

UN-SPIDER Training Activity

Earth observation technologies for disaster damage and loss assessment

The course strengthened damage and loss assessment by teaching the use of satellite images to contribute to damage and loss assessment. It provided DDM and important stakeholder departments with easy, rapid and accurate ways of assessing damage and loss during disasters using satellite remote sensing. It more specifically imparted skills on using satellite remote sensing for multi-hazard risk...

Date of training: 05/04/2015 to 09/04/2015
Space Technology for Flood Hazard Mapping, Flood Forecast and Rapid Mapping in Bangladesh

The training covered a wide range of topics such as an overview of the role of Earth Observation in disaster management, the regional plan of action on promoting Space and GIS applications for disaster risk management and sustainable development, global and regional flood hotspot assessment, flood hazard/risk mapping, multi-hazard risk and vulnerability assessment, flood inundation mapping...

Date of training: 12/05/2013 to 16/05/2013

Advisory Support

This mission was a follow-up activity of the UN-SPIDER technical advisory mission to Bangladesh and took place from 5 April 2015 to 9 April 2015 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Mission dates: 05/04/2015 to 09/04/2015

From 12 to 16 May 2013, as a follow-up to the UN-SPIDER technical advisory mission to Bangladesh in 2011, UN-SPIDER conducted a Institutional Strengthening Mission and organized a capacity-building programme on the topic of space technology for flood hazard mapping, flood forecasting and rapid mapping in Bangladesh. The programme was jointly organized with the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

Mission dates: 12/05/2013 to 16/05/2013

Bangladesh is exposed to floods due to cyclones and monsoons, droughts, landslides and storm surges. To reduce the impacts of these events, Bangladesh has incorporated disaster-risk reduction and preparedness into all national policies, planning and programmes. At the invitation from the Disaster Management and Relief Division of the Government of Bangladesh, UN-SPIDER conducted a Technical Advisory Mission to evaluate the strengths and challenges related to the access and use of space technologies and space-based information for effective disaster management.

Mission dates: 19/06/2011 to 23/06/2011
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