Rana Plaza One Year On – Promoting Health and Safety
At the end of last year, an influential group of British ministers have met with Islamic Relief Bangladesh and first responders as part of a visit to the country. The delegation was in Bangladesh to investigate the conditions in garment factories to inform a forthcoming report on safe working conditions.
More than 1,100 people died in April 2013, when a Dhaka building housing several garment factories collapsed.
The six-member ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’ met with Islamic Relief and the Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD) on 13 September. The group included Anne Main, Rushanara Ali, Nick de Bois, Simon Danczuk, Jonathan Reynolds and Shabana Mahmood.
During the information-sharing session – which explored the working environments in some garment factories – the FSCD shared its experience of the Rana Plaza collapse as well as the devastating Tazreen fire, and discussed planning and areas for collaboration.
The All Party group emphasised the importance of promoting disaster-preparedness – particularly amongst garment workers – and called upon the international and domestic business community to do more to ensure safe working environments.
Islamic Relief Bangladesh will continue its work to reduce vulnerability to natural and man-made hazards. Advocating for increased disaster risk reduction measures, the organisation is developing the capacity of national and local government and businesses to collaborate on efforts to create safer work places. Following the session, the delegation observed an earthquake response drill conducted by the FSCD.
Islamic Relief aren’t just protecting Bangladeshi communities from man-made health and safety problems. We’re also helping them prepare for natural disasters like earthquakes. Islamic Relief recently held capacity building training on earthquake resilient construction. Funded by the EC, the training included technical support from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, as part of the efforts to improve adherence to the national building code.
Islamic Relief has been working in Bangladesh since 1991, when it responded to a devastating tropical cyclone. Islamic Relief Bangladesh now works across the country to deliver development and emergency response programmes.