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Bangladesh Hatiya: PET Bottle Life Jacket & Piggybacking


Whenever cyclones would hit, the Bangladesh government only warned people to evacuate with the activation of disaster alert signals. However, many people cannot or do not follow the warnings for various reasons. For example, some people stay behind to try to protect their possessions.


In light of this situation, we are planning to introduce Japanese methods and knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) to communities in Bangladesh in cooperation with Professor Imanishi of Wakayama University, so that local residents can learn how to protect their lives by themselves.


● PET Bottle Life Jacket


We introduced the “PET Bottle Life Jacket,” a DRR method.

▼ How to Prepare a PET Bottle Life Jacket
・Prepare two 1.5L PET bottles.
・Wrap the bottles with an orna, a long piece of cloth worn over the chest, which is also used as a head and shoulder covering in Bangladesh.
・Hold each bottle wrapped in the orna and twist each in opposite directions.
・Wrap the orna around your body.
People in Hatiya already use PET bottles tied with strings for survival in water, but it is easier and quicker to use an orna for making a PET bottle life jacket.


● Piggybacking


Bangladeshi parents generally hold children at their waists, as the picture on the left shows. However, this makes it possible for them to use only one hand. In addition, the child on the parent’s waist cannot be held securely; therefore, both the parent and the child are at risk in emergency situations.



On the other hand, piggybacking keeps both hands free. So, in an emergency, people can protect themselves and support other people such as their family and neighbours.


In December, 2015, we had a courtyard meeting to introduce the above methods to people at a para (the smallest type of a municipality; a kind of village) in Hatiya.


They observed these DRR methods with curiosity and laughed while enthusiastically trying them out.


You can find the demonstrations on You Tube


There are various methods that Bangladeshi people can utilize to protect themselves using ordinary objects. We are planning to provide more DRR methods and knowledge that is relevant for people’s lifestyles in Hatiya.

Tadayoshi Kotoge
Project Manager


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