Effectiveness of early warning systems for the reduction of flood disasters in Third World countries Case Study, Bangladesh

A. Z. M. Shoeb
Geographisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, 53115 Bonn, Germany.
Fax: +49-228-737230,
E-mail: ijz8992@uni-bonn.de

As a non-structural measure, early warning systems are effective in certain conditions and situations. The aim of early warning systems is to provide warning to people of an impending natural hazard. They must be aware of the disaster potential of natural processes in order to response appropriately to early warning and forecasting. Such human traits are developed gradually from a certain socio-economic infrastructure of the country. Uneducated/untrained countrymen and people live from hand to mouth in the Third World Countries and hardly respond to early warnings. This paper will elaborate the factors and variables which are responsible for hindering people from taking advantage of early warning systems. This paper also concerns the feasibility of installation of early warning systems on a large scale in Bangladesh. It is to some extent true that early warning system, in a global context, are more effective in developed countries than those in underdeveloped or developing countries, because there is poor transport accessibility and underdeveloped communication networks. Finally, this paper will, however, propose some preconditions and assumptions to make early warning systems successful, especially in Third World Countries, like Bangladesh.