Journalists, academics and development workers yesterday said the government and mass media must work together to spread awareness among people to minimise damage caused by disasters.
They observed that the people in disaster prone and vulnerable regions are still helpless to take pre-caution to avoid damage following the calamities due to inadequate mass media campaign and the government's impractical management systems.
They were addressing a roundtable on “Role of media in disaster management” organised by Bangla daily the Prothom Alo at its office in the capital with the assistance of Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.
The News Today Editor Reazuddin Ahmed said the responsibility of the mass media is undeniable to make people aware of the disasters but the government must respond sincerely.
Echoing Reazuddin, Manabzamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury criticised the government authorities for not involving media persons while dealing with disaster issues.
The Daily Star Executive Editor Syed Badrul Ahsan observed that media persons should be sensitised to cover disaster issues before sensitising people.
Prof ASM Maksud Kamal, chairman of the disaster science and management department at Dhaka University, said the media can focus on risky buildings, including schools and hospitals.
Prothom Alo Joint Editor Abdul Quayum moderated the roundtable.
Afsana Haque, assistant professor of the urban and regional planning department of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; Mahbuba Nasreen, coordinator of the Dhaka University Centre for Disaster and Vulnerability Studies; Mesbah ul Alam, disaster management secretary; and Mohammad Abdul Qayyum, additional secretary,