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Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL) based in Switzerland, is one of the top ranking universities in Europe offering courses on technical subjects. EPFL conducts the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Disaster Risk Reduction (CDRR) for the international students biennially. The theoretical part of the course is always conducted in Switzerland, whereas the practical part in another country. This is for the first time they have decided to hold the practical activities in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC) is the proud organization to host and arrange the Field Activity of the EPFL Team in Bangladesh. The EPFL Team consists of 33 members from 15 different countries, reached Bangladesh on 24 November, Saturday, lead by Ms. Schmid Magali, the Course Coordinator of EPFL. On 24 November afternoon, an introductory session was held in the Conference Room of that Hotel. Mr. Muhammad Saidur Rahman, Director, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC) described the whole activity plan of the Field Activity to the participants.

On 25 November, a workshop was arranged by BDPC titled ‘Interactive Workshop with the Leaders of Disaster Management in Bangladesh’ to make the participants understand about the state of disaster management in Bangladesh. The Workshop was moderated by Mr. Muhammad Saidur Rahman. Various stakeholders of disaster management from the Government, Donors, Development partners, INGO, NGOs were present at the workshop to describe the scenario of disaster management in Bangladesh. They discussed about their activities, the impacts and future plans in their presentations. Mr. Mohammad Abdul Wazed, Director General, Department of Disaster Management and Relief, Mr. Mohammad Abdul Qayyum, NPD, CDMP II, Mr. Robert Juhkam, Deputy Country Director of UNDP, Mr. Gareth Price-Jones, Country Director for Bangladesh, Oxfam International, Ms Mahbuba Nasreen, Director, Director, Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka and a representative from BRAC were acted as the Resource Persons. They discussed about various aspects of disasters and the related issues to the disaster management in Bangladesh and the participants raised various queries to have information related to their Course.  After the Workshop, the participants went for a city tour.

On 26 November morning, they left for Morrelganj Upazila under the District of Bagerhat. On the way to Morrelganj, they visited Rupantar, a National NGO, in Khulna to have discussions and orientation on their activities. On the next day, they had a meeting with Upazila Disaster Management Committee (UzDMC) and also visited DRR projects and participated at a public hearing meeting in Nishanbaria Union at Morelgonj. On 28th and 29th, they are scheduled to go to Shoronkhola and to observe the damage caused by cyclones. In Shoronkhola, The Participants will be separated into 06 working groups and they will be working with the community to have experience their knowledge on disasters and the coping strategies and other related activities for disaster management in that locality. On 30th November, they will return Dhaka. On 1 December, an oral assessment of participants will be held at the Hotel Rigs Inn in front of the Juries, headed by Prof. Jean-Claude Bolay, Director, EPFL. Later on the day, a reception dinner is organized by BDPC in the honour of the EPFL Team which will be attended by around 70 people related to various stakeholders of disaster management. On 2 December, they will fly back to Switzerland.

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