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Climate Refugees in Bangladesh

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Climate refugees are a great challenge for Bangladesh. Dhaka is a densely populated city in the world. There is no space for the newcomer. If the climate refugees also come here, it will be intolerable. They may cause another pollution of Dhaka. They use the open toilet and open fire. They throw their garbage into rivers.

A huge migration of these refugees in Dhaka city is now a regular phenomenon. But this type of displacement into Dhaka city is very alarming for the city dwellers since it increases the pressure on the existing system and challenges to the government. The improvement of slum not only improves the living quality of urban poor people but also supports the adaptation measure of climate change. Now planned the migration of climate-induced displaced is a present-day concern. Design of built environment including infrastructure, sanitation facilities, etc. will advance healthy living removing effects of haphazard growth and effects of environmental degradation. Decentralization of some slum settlements to nearby cities can be considered if located elevated above the water body like natural lakes, ponds, etc. The poor people living in slums contribute to the urban economy in many ways. To secure their living standard socio-economically, their income (daily or monthly) should be stable. According to the survey data, the most of them are daily laborer like rickshaw puller, brick breaker, etc. heir income is very much susceptible to some natural or man-made events like water logging in Dhaka city. According to respondents, they often stay hunger until they earn something to eat. The sufferings of such people considering recent and future urban hazards need to be integrated during policy preparation.

The objectives of the study are:

To identify why the refugees come to Dhaka;

Which hazards they faced in their locality;

To assess the current situation of water, sanitation, and hygiene in slum areas;

To find out how much threat they are for the Dhaka city.

Review of literature on Bangladesh context

Bangladesh has a long history of coping with disasters during and after a cyclone. These coping capacities play a vital role to survive in people’s ability. Rashid et al. (2006) conducted a study on the coping strategies of household seeking after affected by a disaster to sustain their livelihood. Three broad categories are classified:

  • Strategies for adjustment of decreasing household food consumption and relocating household labor to develop present income
  • Unsecured borrowing which refers to borrowing that is not secured by providing household assets as collateral
  • Secured borrowing denotes borrowing against assets owned by the household.

Here the current adjustment is most frequent among these three strategies which are followed by the households. There is a lack of documentation of indigenous knowledge and practices which is found in the literature review. An attempt has also been made to review how the govt. and NGOs influence coping strategies. Mukherjee (2009) reflects on the seasonal gender-specific vulnerabilities to show how the problems compound for the poor woman in Bangladesh during the deficit season.

The study del Niño et al. (2001) reveals the coping strategies of household following the 1998 Hood including borrowing, reducing expenditure and selling assets. Among them, the major coping mechanism of the household is borrowing in terms of both the value of the resources. To cover the shortfalls of consumption, credit was sought from informal sources.

Basic human needs and vulnerability

Books and anger (2005) point out that the concept of adaptive capacity makes sense in the context of what resources and systems would be affected by climate change.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s project Famine Early Warning systems(FEWS 1999) focused its vulnerability assessment guidance on food security.

Books et al. (2005) list 46 proxy variables; the researchers especially include geography, governance, demography, and technology. They looked for correlations among these vulnerability proxies and historical decadal mortal and derived from these results 11 key indicators of vulnerability: a population with access to sanitation, literacy rate (15-24 years), voice and life expectancy at birth.

In contrast to Azar et al. (2005), this set of indicators explicitly considers some aspects of reproductive health and gender equity. These efforts at compiling indicators do not specify in their lists or models the interactions and feedbacks among the factors in vulnerability.

Conceptual and Analytical Framework

To understand why a hazard becomes a disaster and for whom, the concept of vulnerability is crucial. Using the concept of vulnerability as a characteristic of exposure to hazards has allowed researchers to evade the problems of what causes vulnerability (Canon 2001).

In social science, the human dimension of vulnerability has received significant attention. A person’s vulnerability can be identified by the interaction of natural events and economical, political and social factors.

Canon (2001) points out that most usages of the idea of vulnerability accept that it is part of a continuum or ranking of people. That vulnerability implies at the negative end of that scale.

Adger (1999) argues that vulnerability should be seen as the exposure of a group or individual to stress because of environmental and social change.This definition contrast with the dominant views of vulnerability to disaster.

Climate Change Scenario in Bangladesh and Development Issue

According to IPCC in their recently published Fourth Assessment, the following changes have been observed in climate trends, variability, and extreme events:

  • In Bangladesh, the average temperature has registered an increasing trend of about 1°C in May and 0.5°C in November during the 14 year period from 1985 to 1998.
  • The annual mean rainfall exhibits increasing trends in Bangladesh. Decadal rain anomalies are above long-term averages since the 1960s.
  • Serious and recurring floods have taken place during 2002, 2003, and 2004. Cyclones originating from the Bay of Bengal have been noted to decrease since 1970 but the intensity has increased.
  • The frequency of monsoon depressions and cyclones formation in the Bay of Bengal has increased.
  • Water shortages have been attributed to rapid urbanization and industrialization, population growth and inefficient water use, which are aggravated by changing the climate and its adverse impacts on demand, supply and water quality.
  • Salt water from the Bay of Bengal is reported to have penetrated 100 km or more inland along tributary channels during the dry season.
  • The precipitation decline and droughts have resulted in the drying up of wetlands and severe degradation of ecosystems.

According to Ahmed and Alam (1999), the average increase in temperature in Bangladesh would be 1.3 and 2.6 by the year 2030 and 2075 respectively with respect to the base year 1990. The temperature variation will be more in winter than in summer.

Karmakar and Shrestha (2000), using the 1961-1990 data for Bangladesh, show that annual mean maximum temperature will increase by 0.4°C and 0.73°C by the years 2050 and 2100 respectively.

Bangladesh climate change strategy and Action Plan, 2008 and updated 2009 are “Eradicate poverty and achieve economic and social well-being through a pro-poor climate change strategy which prioritizes Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction; also address low carbon development and provision of funding.

Climate risks for Bangladesh:

Environmental Impacts;

Socio-economic Resources & Sectors affected;

Changes in rainfall patterns;

Increased frequency and severity of:

Floods;

Droughts;

Storms;

Heat waves;

Changes in growing seasons and regions;

Changes in water quality and quantity;

Sea level rise;

Glacial melt.

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Climate Refugees in Bangladesh. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/climate-refugees-in-bangladesh/
“Climate Refugees in Bangladesh.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/climate-refugees-in-bangladesh/
Climate Refugees in Bangladesh. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/climate-refugees-in-bangladesh/> [Accessed 27 Jun. 2022].
Climate Refugees in Bangladesh [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/climate-refugees-in-bangladesh/
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