Adverse effect of climate change in coastal area

Adverse effect of climate change in coastal area
 Yasmin Reema

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:

Climate change and Bangladesh economy

Climate change and Bangladesh economy
Yasmin Reema

Economy of Bangladesh faces a great challenge due to climate change. Agriculture is the main economic power of Bangladesh. While more than 60% of people depend on agriculture, a huge number of people’s livelihood is at great risk due to climate change, which greatly affects the entire economy. Every year, natural calamity causes a great economic loss to the country. It hampers developmental activities.
Dr Ainun Nishat, a water resource and climate change specialist, said, “Till now, natural calamity is available in our country.” Before we protect ourselves from one destruction, another calamity attacks. Yet, people who were sufferers from SIDR in the coastal areas could not return to normal life. In those areas, village economy could not return to its past position.
Bangladesh stands at the top position in the case of the destruction carried out by natural calamities. As a result, it becomes hard for the country to come out of the vicious poverty cycle. Fighting with the natural calamities leaves large number of people in dire poverty. These people after losing everything have to start from the beginning. Cyclone, flood, draught, river erosion, rising sea level and many other disasters have been augmented. Hence, the road construction, culverts, building educational institution and infrastructure requires a huge amount of money.
A report from World Bank mentioned that negative effect of climate change has afflicted the economy of Bangladesh which terribly affect the life and earnings of the millions of people. Therefore, a good portion of budget has to be spent on the food, health, agriculture, fish, and animal asset. These things create a dimension on the change of economy.
Md. R.E Shamim, Agriculture and Environment specialist, said that in the case of climate change and financial loss, Bangladesh is in top position. So the economy of Bangladesh will face a great challenge in future. The data prove that the economy of Bangladesh highly depends on the behaviour of the climate.
An international organisation, German Watch, reported in 2010 that Bangladesh lost 2 thousand and 189 million dollar as a result of the adverse impacts of climate change, which is about 1.81% of total national development. Total loss of the world’s 20% happened in Bangladesh from 1990 to 2009. On the other hand, an account of Asian Development Bank shows that the primary loss was about 139 billion taka. Average loss of Bangladesh is about US$4 billion due to natural calamity.
Yasmin Reema – See more at:

Existence of Chalan Beel at risk due to climate change

Existence of Chalan Beel at risk due to climate change

Yasmin Reema
Today the existence of Chalan Beel is at risk only for climate change. Some years ago Chalan Beel remained full of water during the four months of rain. Today this Chalan Beel has become almost waterless. As a result farmers of nine upazilas of Chalan Beel areas cannot irrigate their lands. The scene of Chalan Beel last November was pathetic. Farmers and agricultural department informed that if there is not necessary rainfall, they will have to irrigate their lands by underground water.

Rainfall has declined compared to that of last three decades. As a result lower areas of Chalan Beel became waterless in the last week of September. Existence of fish is in distress as the flood water of Chalan Beel has gone out earlier. In last one decade many species of fishes have been lost.

Professor Dr Nazrul Islam of Rajshahi University reported in one of his research papers about it. From May to November there was sufficient rainfall even in the eighties. In Ashar, flood water entered the lower or slightly lower areas and rain water stayed till first fortnight of November. Since 1991 weather has been behaving unnaturally. There was unusual rainfall. Rainfall declined in 1992 and water crisis appeared. Three years later normal flood occurred. In 1996 crisis appeared again and it caused damage of crops. Over the last five years rainfall has declined even more than before. This year rainfall has been much less. This year, the height of flood water was less than that of last five years. This year the quicker decline of rain is a new scene in Chalan Beel. Young of fish entered less with rainwater this year.

The fields of Bona Aman became waterless at slightly lower area. Aman has been cultivated in 58 hectares of land of 9 upazilas of Chalan Beel. Farmers are anxious about their crops as there was not sufficient rain. Farmers and agriculture department have planned to cultivate mustard in 70 hectares of land of Tarash, Singrai, Atrai, Gurudaspur, Chatmohor, Vangura, Faridpur, Sahajadpur and Ullapara upazilas. Farmers will be in a fix over cultivating mustard as the lands from Atrai to Baghabari are waterless. A huge amount of grass will grow as the water has dried before one month. Farmers have to bear huge cost of money to make the land cultivable withdrawing grass. Every year farmers cultivate pop corn in the clay of 20 thousand hectares of land in 9 upazilas. But his year farmers will have to bear more cost in cultivating pop corn. On the other hand farmers are in tension about the underground water as flood water has dried out earlier and the layer of underground water may be deeper. Agricultural officers admit this truth. They are also surprised at the decline of the flood water.

Rationing water in Aila-affected areas

Posted :23 Nov, 201300:00:00

Rationing water in Aila-affected areas

Yasmin Reema
Bilkis could not go to school today. She went to Buri Goalini village by walking for collecting drinking water. The village is 5 kilometres far from her village. These villages are of Gabura union, Samnager upazila under Satkhira district. Bilkis is not alone; they are a group of 25 women and children. Some of them go by rickshaw-van. Sometimes Bilkish also go by rickshaw-van. Today she has to go by walking. To come back with water it will benoon. So she will not be able to go to school today. Zinnat Jahan, an inhabitant of Soragram of the same union returned home from Zelekhani area taking water by boat which is 6 kilometres far. Boat rent is Tk 200. She took drums for 10 families. For drums the rent cost is Tk 20. Tk 15 more has to be given for a drum of water. Altogether it costs Tk 35 for 20 litres of water. Behula Bibi is the oldest woman of Kholisha Bunia village. It is very difficult to walk for her but she has to go to collect rationed water.

Kusum Begum, member of a wealthy family of Dhumghat village, has come to Zelekhani to collect water by boat. She said, “Pond water is so salty that one can fall if one drinks it.” She ties her 17 cows all the time as they can’t eat dirty water. She also said, “Cattle are suffering for want of water, we feel for them but we are helpless, we can’t give water to them.” Kusum Begum’s family is so large. Two pitchers of water is needed for the cattle and they lead there life with four pitchers of water. She has to go out for searching drinking water every day. She wanted to sell the cattle seeing their suffering but she did not find any buyer. After Aila, cattle have become thin. Butchers don’t want to buy them. It will be impossible to tend cattle due to the crisis of water.

Zinnat Jahan said that they have nothing to do because two litres of water is given through rationing for each person. Nothing can be done with this little water. Most of the families suffer greatly as cyclone “Aila” took away everything from them. So they have to depend on rationed water. They have to use salty water of pond for cooking. Some days ago Khalek Dad could not buy drinking water, so they had to drink contaminated water and the little child was attacked with diarrhea within a few hours. There is crisis of pure drinking water in the large coastal areas of Samnogor and Asasuni upazilas of Satkhira district. People have been suffering from salty water for last 15 years in this region. After Aila it has become intolerable. Local people’s representatives also don’t know where they will go for searching water. Malika Begum, word commissioner of No 1 Gabura union, said there are 15 villages in Gabura union. Tube wells were successfully set up in Gabura, Zelekhani, Labuburinai and Passemari. Pure drinking water was not found in other tube wells in another 11 villages. All of them drank pond water. There were 42 ponds in this union. After Aila 41 ponds have become useless. One or two tube wells are active. People are surviving depending on this tube well water and rationing water.  Two litres of water is given for each family. As the male members are busy with their work, women and children have to collect water.
S M Shamim Ahmed, public health engineer of Satkhira district, agreed with us about the sufferings of the people of Aila-affected areas and said that the district public health department is working heart and soul for solving this problem. Some local organisations also help them in their work. In the dry season pond water became very salty and they had to drink collected rain water.

As the rain water has been finished the problem has become intolerable. NowSatkhiraJuboAcademyand Samnagar Gonomukhi Sangstha provide 130,000 litres of water at 22 points. But the problem is so severe that they have to follow strict rules in providing water so that not a drop of water is spoilt. To collect water people have to stand in line for hours. Haiatunnabi Khan, Headmaster of local school said that the attendance of students has decreased; it has come into almost zero. His two sons also study there. They could not attend school for last one month. The rules of rationing water are so strict. They issued cards. If the card is not shown, no one will get water.

A Touch of Sunshine

A Touch of Sunshine

Hundreds of farmers have found new hope in sunflower cultivation after salinity ruined their lands which lay fallow for years in the wake of cyclone Sidr

Yasmin Reema

Khorakata, Tafolbari and Gabtola are villages in the Shoronkhola upazilla of Bagerhat district under the Khulna division. These villages have vast fields, which are now adorned with beautiful bright yellow sunflowers. The scenery seems to be picturesque as if painted by an expert artist on his canvas. When the sun reflects on the face of these flowers it creates a magical yellow hue. A traveler passing through this road is bound to turn back at this eye-pleasing view. Some of the travelers who are admirers of great beauty stand beside these fields for a while and appreciate the breath-taking, sweeping scenery. However, incredible beauty is not the only special feature of sunflowers.  Production of sunflowers has given new hope to the devastated people of the coastal areas as it has helped them to improve their financial status. Due to climate change, farmers  of the northern areas including Bagerhat were very adversely affected as they incurred huge losses in rice cultivation. At that stressful time sunflower cultivation gave new hope to them. Vast areas of land in Bagerhat remained unused as they were unsuitable for crop cultivation due to being too salty. However, those unwanted fields are now very valuable to the farmers as they provide the ideal soil for sunflower cultivation. Bagerhat’s Shoronkhola and Morelganj upazillas were hit by the disastrous cyclone Sidr on November 15, 2007. Around 2011 commercial cultivation of sunflowers began in these areas. Initially, farmers along with the help of BRAC planted sunflower seeds on 58 acres of land on a test basis. The test results were encouraging and farmers enjoyed handsome profits. After this experiment more and more farmers became interested in sunflower cultivation as it promised them a decent living.  Over the years, sunflower production increased rapidly as women also started actively participating in sunflower cultivation since it requires very little time and money. So a number of villages including Khorakata, Tafalbari and Gabtola have committed vast areas to sunflower cultivation. These areas are now adorned with dazzling yellow sunflowers. These flowers have bright green leaves on their stems. Male and female farmers are taking constant care of these plants. Other upazillas such as Morelganj, Kachua and Chitolmari have started to engage their land in sunflower cultivation. In the current year, altogether 500 acres of land in Shoronkhola, Morelganj, Kachua and Chitolmari have been used for sunflower cultivation. An estimated number of 1,500 farmers are involved in this huge operation. Several farmers named Zamir Hossain, Akhter Mia, Shahidullah, Banu Bibi, Romhila Begum and many others informed that after the devastating Sidr hit all their landswith salinity, crops could not be cultivated, which is why these lands remained useless for years. Thus sunflower production on these lands came to them as a blessing. The previously useless lands are now worth a fortune to the farmers.  The farmers also informed that with three-and-a-half months of planting seeds, the sunflower plants are ready for extraction of new seeds. The farmers incur an expense of 20,000 taka to 22,000 taka for every acre. Every acre  produces 25 tons of seeds and each ton can be sold for 2000 taka. Thus 25 tons fetch the farmers 50,000 taka. On average a farmer can earn a profit of 25,000 taka to 27,000 taka profit from one acre. The farmers are planning to use more lands for sunflower cultivation on a larger scale next year. Regarding sunflower cultivation, Bagerhat’s agro-product expert Humayun Kabir Kislu said, “Small fruits bearing oil seeds grow from sunflowers. After going through several procedures, edible oil is extracted from these seeds. However the bad news is that till today the market for selling sunflower seeds in this area has not expanded. Moreover, there is no mill which can extract oil from sunflowers. As a result demand for this oil is yet to match production.”  If sunflower cultivation is carried out in a planned manner and mills are built to extract oil from the seeds and finally if this oil can be marketed countrywide then sunflowers alone will change the fortune of people in these villages, he added.  He spoke on behalf of the farmers when he urged the government to take necessary steps in this regard. Bagerhat Agriculture Extension Headquarters’ deputy-director Mr Hirendronath Howlader informed, “The soil of this coastal area is extremely suitable for sunflower plantation.  If the farmers can be provided with the right guidance and support, the rate of production will increase exponentially. The government should also take necessary steps to build permanent shops and mills which will extract the edible oil for mass marketing. Currently the farmers manually extract oil from sunflower seeds.” Maruf Parvez, who works for BRAC in the Bagerhat division, informed, “We have carried out several tests which suggest that the soil of this area is suitable for sunflower ultivation. We have taken up this project so that people who have lost everything to the disastrous Sidr can rise again on their feet.  This year in Shoronkhola, Morelganj, Kachua and Chitolmari altogether 848 male farmers and 66 female farmers have planted sunflowers in 500 acres of land. BRAC has partnered with them giving 7,500 taka for  every acre of sunflower cultivation”. On the other hand, large areas  of Shatkhira and Aila have also been used for sunflower cultivation. Abdul Malek, a farmer from Mahmudpur village in Shamnagar Upazilla, took financial support from BRAC and cultivated sunflowers on 1.5 acres of land. He purchased one kilogram of the best quality sunflower seeds from the local market for 1400 taka and planted them on his land.  His total cost of cultivating 1.5 acres was 10,000 taka and he sold his produce for 32,000 taka. Salam added, “In sunflower production income is much higher than expenditure. Moreover, pest attacks are also less. The local markets have high demand for sunflower seeds and oil. Every kilogram of sunflower oil is currently sold for 180 taka to 200 taka.” Another farmer named Nazibullah Sardar claimed that with proper guidance and support, his area could enjoy a boom in sunflower production. ¦


Published-01 December-2013 Weekly First News ,Dhaka

Effect of Climate Change: Destruction on Agriculture

Effect of Climate Change: Destruction on Agriculture

Three decades ago, from mid June to mid August was rainy season. Based on this, farmers cultivated Ropa Aman and other crops at the coastal area. Now the situation has almost changed. Recent published a report of World Bank based on climate change showed that heat will increase and rain will decrease at the rainy season in Bangladesh. Heavy rain fall will happen in a very short time. Draught will be seen several times and it will increase in south- west area of the country. These kinds of draught might be seen regularly. The number of thunder will increase. Therefore, rain dependent crops production will decrease. Water flow is higher at the storm and flood than before. As a result, main crops Boro and Aman production will be hampered. These signs have already been seen in Potuakhali, Barguna, Bhola, Firozpur, Barishal, Zalakathi and southern coastal area.
A few years ago, slightly rain fall happened at Magh-Falgun in this region. The cold was so severe but rain was not seen for seasonal crops. This year rain fall did not happen in the Bangla months, Baisakh- Joistha, that is, April- May- June. Even at the full monsoon, in the months, July- August, sufficient rain fall did not occur.
Unnatural incident is found analysing the data of Bangladesh Water Development Board of Patuakhali and Barguna. Cyclone Mahasen attacked Patua khali coastal area on 16 May this year. As a result, 330 mm rainfall occurred within 24 hours in Barguna. In Patuakhali, the amount of rain was almost 400mm. After that, rain was not seen for many days. Rather, draught and heat were severe in southern coastal area. Salinity increased in the water of rivers. As a result, farmers could not cultivate Ropa Aman.
Monsoon rain has decreased, as found in last few years’ information. In 2007, from July to September, the amount of rainfall was 1,836mm in Patakhali and Borguna. At the same time in 2008, the amount of rainfall increased to 1,921mm. In 2009, it dropped off at 1280mm. It further declined in 2010 and the amount was 912mm. In 2011, the amount of rainfall increased at 1,712mm but again, it decreased in 2012 comparing with the previous year at 1066.
Prodip Kumar Chatterjee, an officer of Kalapara weather office of Patuakhali informed that, in each month of rainy season, the average amount of rainfall is 515mm, which is low from last three or four decades. The variation in rainfall is seen across the entire Bangladesh although the tides of the rivers of southern coastal area are seen natural. According to the data of meter gaze branch of water development board of Barguna and Patuakhali, the highest tide of rivers in Barguna and Patuakhali were 3.45 metres. In 2005, it increased to 3.51 metres. All of a sudden, the height of the tide decreased in 2006 and it reached the height of 2.96 meters. In 2007, during the cyclone SIDR, the height of the tide reached 4.22 metres. In 2009, tidal bore were raised into 3.65 meters by the cyclone AILA. This year on May 16, the tidal bore rose to 3.36 meters in cyclone Mahasen.
It has been evident that every year sea level rises due to global warming. A joint research of Bangladesh and Germany has given a report that last 300 years, the average rate of the rise of sea level is about 0.8 metre melting ice. As a result, the lands of the coastal area went under the water of 1.2-5.2 meters every year. In future, sea level may rise 7mm melting ice. As a result, coastal area may go under water from 3.3 to 8.9 millimetres. What would be more upsetting is that the warmth would rise and rain would become imbalanced.
In this regard, AKM Mostofa Zaman, Dean, faculty of Disaster Management, Patuakhali University of Science and Technical said that an aspect of climate change is the change of the rain during the monsoon. The amount of rainfall has declined in an alarming level and the warmth is rising. As a result, many natural calamities like cyclone, flood, and tidal bore have become evident regularly. It has further accelerated long lasting submerged water, inability of the production of crops and saltiness. Thus, it is highly necessary to take long-term initiatives to confront the curse of untoward climate change. Otherwise, the life in the coastal area will lose its normalcy that will put the lives of people living there into the tide of peril.

Children to suffer brunt of climate change

Children to suffer brunt

of climate change

by Yasmin Reema

Ten-year-old Shondesh has seen his home drown under water at least thrice and have moved from one char to another every time with his parents. In Gaibandha, Shondesh helps his parents with the little bit of farming that is available during the good seasons until there is another flood sweeping away their home. But that also goes to say that Shondesh has no education, there is no school in the small char habitat. In a four-member family of which his father is the breadwinner, Shondesh’s future unfortunately will be that of the scores of underprivileged and malnourished children in Bangladesh. A new study by a group of scientists at Stockholm in September revealed that climate change will largely affect children in the 10 most vulnerable countries including Bangladesh, which together has 620 million children below 18. Children will suffer the brunt in the forms of health problems, malnutrition and migration, says the study. According to Unicef, 25 million more children will suffer malnourishment because of climate change and a further 100 million will be suffer food insecurity, where they and their families are on the verge of running out of stock. In the 10 countries, children among the 150-200 million people feared to become homeless because of climate change will suffer more than adults because of their relative lack of resources and higher vulnerability to disease. Heat waves will become more intense and frequent under climate change, which will trigger heatstroke among babies and small children. Children find it difficult to regulate body heat. According to Jana Udyag – an environmental organisation based in Chittagong – nearly 46 per cent children in the rural parts of Bangladesh help their families by working in agriculture, looking after cattle and household work. This limits the prospects of the country – of 160-million people – to move up the economic ladder. Children therefore, remain vulnerable to malnutrition, lack of education and health related diseases. ‘Pure water is not available at the time of flood. Children become ill from different types of diseases like diarrhea, dengue and malaria,’ says Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed, an assistant professor of National Institute of Mental Health. The effects on children can be realised from the devastation of cyclone Aila in 2009. The cyclone destroyed 275 schools and partially damaged 1942 schools in Bangladesh. Reports stated that nearly 40 lakh people suffered in ‘Aila’ and children had to leave there homes with their parents to take shelter on embankments of rivers. The laws of Bangladesh which are for preventing natural calamity and climate change is not sufficient for saving children. It is important to emphasise on the management of protection taken at the time of natural calamity. These are to respond immediately to protect lives and wealth by involving local government to build infrastructure, training, advocacy, and awareness etc. The National Work Plan for Protecting Natural Calamity 2010 does not have any recommendation to protect children from the effects of climatic change. Unicef argues that, although children are more vulnerable to the effects of global warming, they have been largely left out of the debate. ‘We are hurtling towards a future where the gains being made for the world’s children are threatened and their health, wellbeing, livelihoods and survival are compromised … despite being the least responsible for the causes,’ David Bull, Unicef’s UK executive director was quoted by the Guardian. ‘We need to listen to them.’ The Guardian report states that children born last year will come of age in 2030, by which time the effects of climate change in the form of an increase in droughts, floods and storms are likely to be more in evidence. Climate change experts suggest an integrated effort involving economic and infrastructural preparedness to protect children, so that, in the countries are prepared to deal with the aftershocks of natural disasters. Bangladesh is considered the most vulnerable country exposed to the adverse effects of climate change in the foreseeable future. The country has been appreciated for being the most resilient to disasters. As the world prepares to meet at the 19th Conference of Parties on November 22 in Poland, disbursement of green climate fund will be crucial for policymakers to press and allocate on the child protection.

Risk of natural calamities and economic crisis

Risk of natural calamities and economic crisis
Published : Saturday, 05 October 2013
The life of the people of AILA and SIDR-affected areas is not still normal.

Yasmin Reema
Recently Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a non-governmental research organisation, arranged a programme in the BRAC Centre in the capital under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on “Building resilience to natural disaster and major economic crisis.” In this programme it came to light that Bangladesh is at the highest risk of natural disasters than other Asian countries. Risk of calamities is undoubtedly related to climate greatly and climate change is related to world economy.
So the people of Bangladesh who live in coastal areas suffer more greatly than the other countries that are at the risk of natural calamities. People face great economic losses frequently and infrastructures are destroyed. As a result of climate change sea level is rising and of the 21 cities at the highest risk, Dhaka is one. Some 1.30 billion people have fallen at the risk of natural disasters only because of the ice melting of the Himalayas. Specialists apprehended that tens of millions of people would be refugees due to natural disasters.
As a result of natural change great crisis may happen to agriculture. Some 100 million people who lead sub-standard life might starve for a long time. Asia and Africa will face a great crisis for want of food. The staple food of these regions is rice and rice cultivation will be difficult because of global warming. Researchers say that people may change their food habit for recovery from this problem. People might depend on pop corn or millet which can be grown in warm weather. It is very difficult to change food habit. Cultivable land is lessened and floods and cyclones have increased in Bangladesh for climate change. Its influence falls on agriculture, fishery, and wildlife directly. M Asaduzzaman, Director (Research), Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) said, “Climate change should be a subject matter for development plan and infrastructure. If development is hampered, economic prosperity is not possible.” Bangladesh has one of the largest sea coasts in the world. We can stop the rise of the sea partly by planting trees in the sea coast. River water flow should be ensured. If we can do so, we shall be able to protect ourselves from natural disasters. We should be careful about our rivers as they can flow without any obstacle.
The life of the people of AILA and SIDR-affected areas is not still normal. They are at health risk. Their anti-body has been lessened. So they are suffering from many diseases. In 11 districts of the south-west region of the country, some 150 million people live with salty water. Here shortage of pure water is a common scene. Sundori, kaoda and many other trees are dying as salty water has increased in the Sundarbans. Wild animals are abrogating. Flood will occur frequently in the coming days and the amount of destruction will increase. The flood of 2007 was devastating. As a result 0.5 million people had to leave their house and took shelter in safe places. The fear of such type of flood is still there. After all, the lower southern part of the country may go under water. Salimul Haque, Director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCD) said, “In case of natural calamity Bangladesh is in a risk and she is also tolerable. We have to face natural calamity in local ways.” Nazrul Islam, a city specialist, said, “My grandfather had to leave his own house three times for natural calamity. He lost his land. But his four sons took higher education. It is his investment, it is his capability to face natural calamity.”
A report was published about natural calamities of Bangladesh, where disasters of natural calamities from 1998 to recent years were mentioned. It was estimated there that assets worth 4.30 billion dollars were destroyed in the flood of 1998, those worth 240 million dollars were ruined in SIDR of 2007 and those worth 270 million dollar were damaged in AILA of 2009.
The writer is Editor, Weekly Bornapat. E-mail: