Bangladesh In Devastating Climate Change-induced Flooding

Climate Change Induced Multiple Heavy Floods Hit the Same Areas During a Single Monsoon Season in Bangladesh

Written by Mukti Rahman, a 350PDX IREX Fellow during the fall of 2016. Mukti has since returned to her home country of Bangladesh, and continues to work to empower women in the work of ensuring access to clean drinking water as the sea levels rise and salinate the groundwater.  

credit: in Bangladesh

Due to heavy rainfall, this year people of Bangladesh have been affected by multiple heavy floods. Prolonged and successive devastating floods are being induced by climate change impact. Life has come to stand still & economic activities have been severely jeopardized. Around 25% of 160 million population of the country including major cities (Dhaka, Chittagong etc.) has been affected. Over thousands of villages have been inundated by this prolonged flooding, even several times each. Schools remain closed due to the devastation. Road and railway communication in many areas have been snapped. Access to medical facilities especially in the rural areas has become externally limited. People in the affected areas are in dire need of dry food, medical supplies, and fresh water. Access to adequate sanitation especially for women and children has become nearly impossible. Resulting in high proliferation of infectious water borne diseases like Diarrhoea, Hepatitis, Typhoid etc. Due to inundation of homesteads, many families have moved to higher land and living in makeshift shelters expose to elements of weather.


Rising of water levels in the various rivers in the northern, northeast and southern part of the country is flowing above the danger level due to heavy rainfalls. Moreover, being a lower riparian country, these areas are being flooded again and again due to the flashflood from upper catchments in India and Nepal, which drains into Bangladesh.

Due to this hazard, for the first time in two decades, the country has experienced food grain shortage. But luckily the national government is making arrangements for importing food grains from neighboring countries and some supplies has started to arrive from India, Thailand and Vietnam.
The Government and the people of Bangladesh are trying hard to overcome the climate challenges through adaptation and resilience policy, which are inadequate than the actual need.