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Disaster Preparedness and Response

Quick help and precaution on site 

Floods inundate houses, tornadoes destroy fields, supplies float away. People have to seek shelter on the higher roads. 

In such emergency situations, families are particularly threatened and in need of support. Above all, things have to happen quickly. This is possible with well-trained disaster relief workers on site. Or a preparedness program - so that the worst doesn't happen in the first place.

Lost balance 

Climate change and its consequences are being felt around the world. But: In Bangladesh and eastern India, these are increasingly becoming a threat to life. Studies show that natural disasters, climate-related hazards and extreme weather events have increased sharply in recent years - they have become more frequent and more severe. For people living in poverty, this is fatal in several ways, because they have no or very few resources and less to counter the disasters. Those affected barely manage to overcome one catastrophe before the next one is imminent: in spring, there is no rain and months of drought ensue. The long-awaited monsoon rains at the end of summer are much shorter but all the more intense. And in winter, extremely low temperatures near freezing follow for the region. The cycle is thrown out of balance. For those affected - especially small farmers - it is not only their work that becomes more difficult. They are also barely equipped to survive the weather extremes.

Overcoming severe crises 

The NETZ approach to disaster relief focuses on one thing above all: acting quickly on the ground. Thanks to volunteers and partner NGOs that are firmly rooted in the affected regions. They reach affected people even in the most remote corners of the country. With immediate help, people can survive the acute need. For example, they receive food, baby food or hygiene items, medicine and protective equipment such as water purification tablets and soap. When the water runs off, we help where the destruction was particularly severe. Our partners help rebuild homes and schools. They repair destroyed latrines and drinking water points - so that the emergency infrastructure is in place for the people.

It is true that disasters come suddenly and often "overnight". Nevertheless, provisions can and must be made in calmer times. To this end, those affected in particularly threatened regions are building up self-help structures and disaster early warning systems. In training courses, they learn what needs to be done in the event of a disaster, how to build up reserves for emergencies and how earth fills can make buildings safer. All knowledge is gathered in the union, and people act together and are strengthened. They establish management committees, volunteers participate as disaster relief workers and are trained.

But the overall resilience of the affected people needs to be strengthened. The NETZ project supports each individual family in affected regions in the long term to consolidate their own living conditions - so that they can cope with emergency situations on their own and are better equipped for new crises.

A successful approach
Disaster relief

What the unions have achieved so far

    • Disaster-affected people received financial support for food as well as water purification tablets and soap
    • Families rebuilt their houses with support from NETZ.
    • Drinking water points and latrines that were destroyed by floods were made functional again.
    • Primary and secondary schools were rebuilt by local people.
A total of 31.335 families

received concrete help to ensure their survival in the pandemic year 2020. This included food such as rice, oil and potatoes, as well as hygiene products, protective masks and seeds.

Disaster relief volunteers

have provided villagers with information from the state flood early warning system and assisted with evacuation and return after the flood.

In the media and at events

reports on the effects of climate change in northwestern Bangladesh were made. Affected people were able to share their perspectives with the public and policy makers.

Our principles


NETZ works together with experienced local partner NGOs. Together, the projects are designed and implemented.


People from the surrounding area are involved. They act as helpers and continue their education - their knowledge remains in the community.


By taking precautions, people in flood areas secure their homes and farms. They become more capable of acting and can plan their local future in the longer term.

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With 16 € you enable ... 

a three-day initial training of a volunteer disaster relief worker.

With 16 € you enable ... 

a three-day initial training of a volunteer disaster relief worker.

With 16 € you enable ... 

a three-day initial training of a volunteer disaster relief worker.

Learn more
about the topic of disaster relief and our approach

  • How does NETZ learn about emergencies, how does NETZ reach those affected?

    The local partner NGOs of NETZ are in daily contact with project participants on site as well as with local authorities. In case of a disaster, information about the events and their impact as well as about concrete rights on the ground can be passed on immediately. This is the first and most important source of information. NETZ also obtains information from national flood forecasting services, such as the Flood Forecasting & Warning Centre in Bangladesh, or international humanitarian coordination databases, such as ReliefWeb, and exchanges information with national and international organizations on the situation on the ground and the implementation of emergency relief programs. These thus reach those affected immediately and can be tailored to the rights on the ground. The partner NGOs, together with the NETZ national office in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, take over the coordination of the measures - in doing so, local structures are used as far as possible. This means that relief supplies are purchased from local suppliers in the region, for example.

  • How long is NETZ on site in case of a disaster?

    As a rule, NETZ implements emergency aid actions within the framework of already existing self-help structures. This means that the project staff is permanently on site within the framework of long-term development projects. Emergency aid is part of the sustainable self-help concept that NETZ establishes on site. The aid infrastructure and contacts that have been established are used for this purpose. And the village self-help groups, established in the course of local development projects, have an active role. They also include the higher-level self-help associations at the community level. They are all important institutions in the affected villages, know the needs of the people and are permanently involved in emergency aid.

  • Does NETZ do fundraising campaigns when it becomes necessary?

    NETZ works according to a defined emergency plan in the event of a disaster. This includes sending out donation mail to draw attention to the situation, online appeals to support the donation campaign and press releases to regional, national and international media. The launch and implementation of an appropriate fundraising campaign will be closely coordinated with the NETZ team in Bangladesh.

Do you have any questions about us?

Hello, I am Habibur Rahman Chowdhury, Country Director of NETZ. Don't hesitate to contact us.