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Archive for the ‘Bangladesh’ Category

What Can Be Done to Slow Climate Change?

Posted by Lindy on January 15, 2012

For the full article go to:

This is a very interesting article, but if you are tempted to include in your GSCE exam, make sure you mention Shindell (of NASA) as it is so new, that many exam markers will not have come across it, and may think you have got confused.

The main idea behind what they are saying is that while CO2 has the main long term impact on climate change, it we want to have some effective short term impacts ( i.e. within 40 years) these are the best ways to go, as they don’t just reduce climate change but reduce the impacts on health and agriculture as well.

The 2 key elements are methane and black carbon.

Black carbon are specs that come from burning fossil fuels and wood, and are implicated in respiratory illness and climate change. If these specs are inhaled (e.g. by burning wood for cooking as happens in large parts of the LICs) then many get sick and/or die from it – in particular women and young children. Also black carbon absorb radiation form the sun and so raise the air temperature, darken the ice caps so increasing the heat they absorb and contribute to melting and also to changes in rainfall patterns.

Methane as we know is 20-30 times worse than CO2.

What are the specific actions Shindell thinks we should take?

For black carbon, reduce the emissions from cars by filtering, and even removing the worst offenders from the road, upgrading the cookers using wood, especially in LICs, and banning agricultural stubble burning.

For methane, change methods of production of rice so the paddies do not omit methane, capturing methane from landfill sites,making sure methane do not escape from oil and gas wells and managing animal/human manure more effectively.

Who will benefit?

Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan who have a lot of ice will be the prime winners.   Iran, Pakistan and Jordan would experience the most improvement in agricultural production. Southern Asia and the Sahel region of Africa would see the most beneficial changes to precipitation patterns.  The south Asian countries of India, Bangladesh and Nepal would see the biggest reductions in premature deaths as a result of chest infections.

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, Energy sources, Fragile environments, Global warming, management, Solution to problems, Weather | Leave a Comment »

Bangladesh flood management

Posted by Lindy on November 29, 2011

The situation:

1/5 to ¼ of the country floods every monsoon, but this has the advantage of providing fertile soil. However, 50% to 70% is subject to flash floods which cause a lot of harm to the people and economically. So flood management is essential to raising the level of development of the people.

The problem:

2.         Nature of floods

It  has  230  rivers,  of  which  57  are  international, Bangladesh in most cases occupies the lower course.  Of the three large transboundary river systems  (Ganges,  Brahmaputra  and  Meghna),  only  7%  of  their  huge  catchment  areas  lies  in Bangladesh.

The seasonal flooding regime has been characterized by means of inundation of the different land types,  which  have  been  divided  into  five  categories,  ranging  from  very  low  to  high  land.  Except high  lands  (which  cover  30%  of  the  country’s  total  area),  all  other  types  are  subjected  to  flood inundation to different degrees. Excepting very low lands, human settlements can be found in all other land categories.

  • Bangladesh generally experiences four types of floods.
  • Flash floods occur during mid-April before the on-set of the south-westerly monsoon.
  • Rain-fed floods generally happen in the deltas in the south-western part of the country and are increasing in low-lying urban areas.
  • River floods are the most common; the areas are inundated during monsoon season along the river and in cases far beyond the riverbanks.
  • Storm surge floods occur along the coastal areas of Bangladesh, which has a coastline of about 800 km along the northern part of Bay of Bengal. In case of important cyclones the  entire  coastal  belt  is  flooded,  sometimes  causing  great  loss  of  lives.
  • Coastal  areas  are  also subjected to tidal flooding from June to September.

3.         Flood management and mitigation strategies

a) Initially after the early disasters, they went for huge structural projects. But these were expensive and took a long time to get on stream, so these were largely abandoned.

b) Then there was a move towards small  and  medium  scale  flood control, drainage and irrigation projects (FCDI)  to  provide  early benefits. But this concentration on just agriculture was seen to be short-sighted.

c) So next ecological protection came to the fore.

As a result, since the 1960’s about 628 large, medium and small-scale FCDI projects have been implemented; they comprise levees and embankments, drainage channel improvements, drainage structures,  dams  and  barrages,  pumping  systems,  etc.  They  have  provided  flood  protection  to about 5.37 million ha of land, which is about 35% of the total area.

But structural measure alone can not mitigate the disasters. The Flood Forecasting and

Warning System (FFWS), established in the 1970s has been under continual review.  85 flood-monitoring stations provide  real-time  flood  information  and  early  warning  with  lead-times  of  24  and  48  hours.  The FFWS  is  currently  assisting  Government,  disaster  managers  and  the  communities  living  in  the flood  prone  areas  in  matters  of  flood  preparedness,  preparation  of  emergency  mitigation  plans, agricultural planning and rehabilitation, etc

Taken from

Posted in Bangladesh, management, Rivers | Leave a Comment »

Bangladesh communities show how they adapt to climate change

Posted by Lindy on April 6, 2011

As part of  the 5th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change, in Dhaka in Bangladesh at the end of March 2011, international delegates visited different parts kf Bangladesh to see what they were doing locally

1. Coastal area: Problem: seas are contaminating drinking water and the decreasing flow of freshwater from the Ganges river is insufficient

Solution: The NGO Caritas is working with local people to capture rainwater and store it to drink when regular supplies decline

2.Inland north-west: problem: increasingly prone to drought during winter

Solution: The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation and the NGO ActionAid have helped farmers to use simple irrigation technologies that provide drips of water exactly where they are needed.

3. The floodplains of central Bangladesh: Problem: facing up to floods

Solution: There, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies helps farmers to grow vegetables on meshes of bamboo filled with soil that can float when flood strikes.

For more details about what else went on go to

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, Hazards, IGCSE, Solution to problems, Water | Leave a Comment »

Bangladeshi diary Letter 2

Posted by Lindy on February 8, 2011

As many as three in five Bangladeshis will have abandoned their homes by the year 2050 because of climate change, according to the British government’s Stern Report. But so far the UN does not recognise them as refugees – refugee status restricted to those who flee their country because of persecution by their state based on race, religion, political opinion, or ethnicity, and therefore need special protections.

Many places, including Bangladesh do not have enough land to support the extra people – in the case of Bangladesh it is an extra 60% of its population squeezing into about 40% of the land it currently occupies. As the US and Europe a responsible for the climate change, many countries feel they have a duty to give space to these displaced people and that they should be given a status and rights similar to those given to political refugees.

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, Fragile environments, Global warming, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »

I know we are not meant to be using Sidr as a management example …

Posted by Lindy on January 29, 2011

But we already know a bit about how warnings were given , using mobile phones and police in speed boats with loud hailers , and I just found something that has happened since that backs this up.

It comes from

In Bangladesh, the Cyclone Preparedness Program has been set up over 11 coastal area districts by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, and is partly funded by the government. Volunteers have been trained to help in cyclone warning, evacuation, rescue, first aid emergency relief and the use of radio communication equipment.

[This came from a search about impacts of climate change on Bangladesh]

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, IGCSE, Weather | Leave a Comment »

Bangladesh Diary – letter 1

Posted by Lindy on January 23, 2011

Bangladesh Diary will appear  regularly over the coming weeks. Why? Because it is one of the remaining case studies we need to look at – an example of a country under threat from climate change

The Economics of Global Warming

Key points:

  • Need to reduce climate change
  • Need to help poor countries cope
  • Worst impact is rising sea levels
  • Most likely impact food production – especially in poor countries where more people depend on production


2 million people live on less than $2 a day – these depend on food production. If half of them  lost half their income, it would only cost the world $365 billion a year – a mere 1% of world GDP – but to them disaster

Key points:

  • In HICs agriculture makes up 5% of GDP, and many HICs may benefit from climate change.
  • World incomes will rise as will population
  • Need for meat will rise with development
  • 1 calorie of meat uses 4 -10 calories of feed – this will lead to higher feed prices, so the rich may eat a little less
  • It will also lead to rice/wheat prices rising – a disaster for the poor.
  • Glacier melt may appear to be a problem, but that is not really the issue. The precipitation is still there, but coming as rain, it is not stored for the spring melt, but falls and runs off when the crops are not in the ground. This means the spring flood is not there for irrigation, a serious problem in SE Asia for example.
  • Climate change will be primarily a threat to the poor in poor countries.
  • Understanding this may make it hard to persuade the non-poor in the developed world to take the problem seriously.

Maybe we should not be saying this!

Hasina’s call

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is calling on the developed countries to make a carbon-free world. For her climate change is no distant threat but an ever-present reality.

Bangladesh is especially vulnerable to climate change because of geographic exposure,

  • low incomes, and
  • greater reliance on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture.
  • Climate-related disasters such as floods, droughts, and tropical storms are increasing in Bangladesh along with frequent depression in the Bay of Bengal.
Future impacts

Sea level rise is of grave concern to a developing country like Bangladesh with a vast, low-lying, densely-populated deltaic coast. One metre sea-level rise will inundate about one-fifth area of Bangladesh which will displace 25-30 million people – equivalent ot half the UK population.

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate change, Food supply, Human geography, IGCSE | Leave a Comment »