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Loss and Damage Due to Climate Change in Bangladesh

Report: Online Desk
Published : Monday 11 December, 2017 09:17 AM
Loss and Damage Due to Climate Change in Bangladesh

At the beginning of autumn, white clouds start playing over blue sky. Dew-drops in the field at dawn. The autumn of Bengal would have been found this way for a long time. But in the past few years, it has become difficult to distinguish between autumn and rainy season. The hot  like summer and the rain rises together in autumn. Nowadays the seasons are showing different characteristics.  

According to Climate Change Performance Index 2018, A total of 859 people died due to climate change disasters from 1997 to 2016. At that time the financial loss was USD 2.72 billion. Total 187 disasters have hit Bangladesh. Floods, cyclones and hill collapse are remarkable among the disasters.  Especially in the running year, Bangladesh faced several great  disasters like the hoar flood in April, the biggest flood of the century in the northern region of the country in August as well as hill fall. It was the largest financial loss year of Bangladesh. As per government, about 1.5 million tons of paddy has been wasted this year, and the loss is double as per private information.   This year, most of the people died in such hostility, which was not recognized as a disaster for so long. This year as a new disaster, 170 people were killed by lightning. 

In the last seven years, only 1 thousand 760 people died in lightning.   A report titled ‘A Region at Risk: The Human Dimensions of Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific' says, “studying the 136 largest coastal cities, it is estimate that the average global flood losses in 2005 were approximately USD 6 billion   per year and will increase to USD 52 billion by 2050.” World Bank reported that, since 1954, the country has experienced 21 above?normal floods. The most recent severe flood, which occurred in 2007, inundated 42 percent of the total land area, causing  1,110 deaths and USD 1.1 billion economic loss.  

A severe tropical cyclone hits Bangladesh, on average, every three years. 60 percent of the cyclone?related deaths that occurred worldwide between 1980 and 2000 were in Bangladesh. This cyclone resulted in the loss of 150,000 lives as well as the death of 70,000 cattle, and a total economic loss of about BDT 60 billion – USD 761 million. Cyclones Sidr of 2007 and Aila of 2009 resulted in similarly devastating economic loss and damage, but cost much fewer lives at 3,243 and 330 deaths, respectively.  In the last 50 years, Bangladesh has experienced about 20 drought events resulted in 23.000 sq. km  land was affected.  Another important scenario of climate change is sea level rise is observed that the mean annual water level in the south?west region is increasing by 5.5 millimeters per year. The impacts of sea level rise are already visible and include salinization of agricultural land and the resulting increase in pathogen and water-borne diseases . 

Structural and nonstructural risk reduction approaches help to reduce destruction. The existing risk reduction services can protect massive loss and damage but these are not enough. During cyclones and other extreme events, disaster?resilient housing has drastically reduced the loss of life during recent cyclones. Nonstructural early warning systems have had to be redesigned to reduce complexity, increase efficacy, and decrease the number of agencies involved in their delivery. Disaster resilience seed like flood tolerant seed, drought-tolerant seed can fight against climate change. 

In order to successfully implement risk reduction measures to address loss and damage financial, technical and capacity building needs will have to be met. That said, there must also be a supportive environment including institutions that will help ensure that risk reduction measures take into account the needs of communities. 

Writer: Aminul Islam Sohan
Program Manager 
Action for Sustainable Green Development 
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Email: sohan.bd71@gmail.com  

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