Project aims to introduce index-based flood insurance scheme in some districts
04 November 2015,Nirapad News: There is tremendous scope to introduce index-based flood insurance schemes in the flood-prone districts of Bangladesh, as an alternative risk mechanism to minimise the losses and aftermath of recurrent floods, according to an international water expert.
“Flood hits many districts of the country each year. Funds are available here to carry out relief activities after flooding. But there is no fund to get people prepared before disasters,” said Giriraj Amarnath, senior researcher at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), during the the inaugural session of a workshop at city’s BRAC Centre Inn on Wednesday.
IWMI, Sri Lanka, and the Institute of Water Modelling, Bangladesh, jointly organised the inception workshop on ‘Enhancing the Benefits of Remote Sensing Data and Flood Hazard Model in Index-based Flood Insurance (IBFI) in South Asia’.
Making his presentation, Amarnath said Bangladesh has experienced 74 major flood events between 1980 and 2015, in which about 12,669 were killed and 250 million people were affected.
His presentation showed that about 8 percent of the country’s areas are at very high risk and 19 percent are at high risk of flooding. The potential economic loss from flooding was put at $11.38 billion.
Out of the 64 districts in Bangladesh, the IWMI researcher said, some 36 districts are severely affected by floods and the key districts include Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Pabna, Gopalganj, Kishoreganj, Brahmanbaria and Madaripur.
Index-based flood insurance scheme could be introduced in these districts by developing risk financing mechanism and risk mapping, he added.
Speaking as the chief guest, director general of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) Md Ismail Hossain said Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world.
So flood insurance could be introduced as a product to minimise losses in both public and private sectors, he added.
A new index-based flood insurance scheme project will be introduced in Sirajganj, Gaibandha and Pabna districts, aiming to develop flood insurance product using remote sensing data and flood modeling tools that can accurately depict yield loss in smallholder farming due to weather or other perils, and scalable insurance schemes delivered at micro and meso levels.
Additional secretary of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry Satya Brata Saha and IWM deputy executive director AFM Afzal Hossain, among others, spoke at the inaugural session of the workshop.