Adverse effect of climate change in coastal area
Suvakusum’s house is located at Srinagar, a remote village under Dakopa upazilla in the Khulna district. The house was flooded by ‘Aila’. Her family is submerging till today. Now she is living in a slam made on the dam. Her husband has gone to other village for searching work. Suvakusum said, “The river has snatched away our house and everything. Now we live on the dam. Our livelihood has turned uncertain.” Male people, have gone to Bagherhat and Gopalgonj for work. Now women are working as day labourers here or working in the crab boat or fishing boat. Many of them are trying to grow vegetables for their necessity. But work is not found here in all seasons.
Bangladesh is one of the natural disaster prone countries in the world because of her geographical location. Here we have to face flood, draught, river erosion, cyclone, and many other natural calamities regularly. However, global position, over population, and natural calamity are greatly responsible for the risk of the country. On the other hand, climate change makes these problems more complex. In recent years, natural calamities especially flood, cyclone, tornado, river erosion, saltiness, over heat, and cold have increased alarmingly. Because of these natural calamities, human and their livelihood have been exposed to a great risk. At the same time, infrastructure and asset are also destroyed.
In this regard, we can draw an example. Long lasting cyclone ‘Aila’ attacked with great speed the coastal districts Satkhira and Khulna in 25 May, 2009. Large area was flooded by breaking the dam of the river. 1.5 lakh people became homeless. After Aila, rainy season started. Dams could not be repaired because of the rise of the river water. Homeless people took shelter on the dam. Aisha Khanom, President of Bangladesh Mohila Somiti said, “Although government has managed sufficient relief goods, crisis of pure drinking water and medical facilities still remains. It effects greatly on women and children.”
No doctor is available in two villages. According to the daily newspapers, last two or three months, 250 people died due to many diseases and malnutrition at Padma pukur union (Shamnogor). Most of the patients are women. According to German watch and UN climate report, Maplecraft of UK and Professor Carolyn Sulivan, Bangladesh is the high-risk country in this regard. Naturally, women and children suffer the most. As their responsibility is cooking, looking after cattle collecting drinking water, looking after trees and crops, due to climate change, women’s suffering in collecting water and doing household works pressure have increased while taking nutritious food has considerably decreased. According to UNFPA report, Global warming has a great effect on pregnant women and teenage girls’ health. At the time of natural calamity, women’s death rate is 14% more than men. In 1991’s cyclone, the death toll stood at 140000. Among them, 77% were women. Cyclone “Aila” attacked in 2009, 73% victims were women.
The research of CEGIS based on Posur River coast reported that the people of this area take salt more than 16 gram from underground water and foods, which is much more than the limit prescribed by WHO. A research based on 350 pregnant women whose age Between 13 to 45 at Dakopa Upazila in 2009-10 shows that many diseases that women suffer the most like high blood pressure, uterus burning, abortion, giving birth to immature children have increased. In this “Aila”-hit area, crisis of pure drinking water is so severe that they have to bring water from 7 to 10 miles away. Because of hard work only for collecting drinking water giving birth to dead children is the highest in the southern part of the country. Because of the increase in natural calamities, family planning and safe health along with sanitation facilities are not found in the risky area.
In the temporary shelter centre, unsafe environment and limited emergency help causes great danger for the breeding health of women. After calamity a large number of people have to leave there house for the safety of women and children. In this time normally local income is stopped. As a result male members have to leave their house for earning money. In this time women lead inhuman life with their children. Professor Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin, director of Institute of disaster management and vulnerability studies the same scene is seen in Khulna,Satkhira, Barisal, Vhola and other coastal area. Every family has 6-8 children and many women are pregnant. There is no birth control system. They show the cause that every year natural calamity and flood is normal affair in their life; they have to lose many of their dearest sons too. They have belief and eagerness on many children. Some of them will be lost and some of them survive. It is surprising to here the hard reality but it is true. In any natural calamity women, children and age old people suffer much. So in affected area more than one marriage is not a new event. Thousands of people have not been settled for long four years. Aila sufferer peoples cry is heard from south-west coastal area till now. Remorse is seen everywhere for foods, clothing and drinking water. All destroying Aila has been destroying Gabura and padmapukur unions thousands of people and their belongings till now.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, a prominent Bangladeshi attorney and environmentalist said, “Natural calamity has increased due to climate change. At the time of this great crisis, gender discrimination is seen. Everybody’s target is to rescue man. If a woman is drowned what is the loss? At the time of SIDR, a girl said that everybody rescued her father but her mother and sister plotted away.” Achiya Begum, an age-old woman of Sutarkhali village said, “At childhood, I came to Khulna with my grandmother from Char Fashion, Vhola losing my parents. Still, my suffering does not end up.” When Porimol Mondol was asked about weather, he questioned if we wanted to know about green house effect. This implies that the symbolic word has reached Sutarkhali point. Porimol said, “We don’t know why it happens. But we know that the weather is under threat and the lower area we living in will go under water.” When he was asked whether he would believe the notion, his simple answer is ‘As the scientists said, we have to believe this.’
The writer is editor, Weekly Bornapat,Comilla – See more at: http://www.daily-sun.com/index.php?view=details&type=daily_sun_news&data=Recipe&pub_no=750&cat_id=2&menu_id=5&news_type_id=1&news_id=174432#sthash.7hdrRDNe.dpuf