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Oxfam’s Director for South Asia region launches book on Positive changes in rural lives of Bangladesh

Last month, Oxfam’s director for the South Asia region, Biranchi Upadhyaya, launched “Transforming Char Lives”, a booklet that focuses on the positive changes brought about by Oxfam’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project on the lives of rural people in Bangladesh.

Gareth Price Jones, Oxfam’s country director in Bangladesh, along with the Bangladesh program staff, were all present at the in-house ceremony, which took place in the last week of September at the Bangladesh Program Office.

The booklet is a compilation of 16 case studies compiled from villages in Bangladesh where Oxfam GB’s DRR project operates, each constructed through focussed group discussions, one on one interviews and first-hand, direct obseervations..

It is a proven fact that vulnerable communities can often only rely on themselves during disasters, especially during the initial phases. Therefore, emphasis should always be given to strengthen their exisiting coping strategies and capacities to enable them to reduce the devastating impact of disasters on their own.

Disasters, although one off occurencess, greatly damage people’s livelihoods, health, hampering their access  to clean, safe water and sanitation practices. Therefore, sustainabile Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) can not be seen as a stand alone strategy, and must always acknowledge and incoporate the critical close link between DRR and development.

The DRR project of Oxfam GB’s efforts are focused on enhancing the capacity to cope with disasters, (through flood preparedness and mitigation measures) of vulnerable women, men and children. It brings about positive changes in people’s behaviours and practices by facilitating the crucial linkages between DRR and development through coordination and advocacy, and is carried out in a completely community-led manner by the project-formed Village Disaster Preparedness Committees (VDPCs) in each village.

The current monsoon period has provided a rare opportunity for the project to test out its capabilities, as real time events are occuring, such as an increase in water levels. During the course of the implementation phase, the project team has been closely monitoring the impact of the project processes and interventions. Biranchi Upadhyahya’s booklet is one method used to assess specific change’s in people’s behaviours and mindsets and to identify and assess the impacts of similar projects.

The DIPECHO project team in Bangladesh is reponsible for this publication.

Launching of the book at the premises of Bangladesh office

To read the book click here Transforming Char Lives

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