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3:32 pm | April 20, 2024
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six northern districts of bangladesh are at risk of severe drought
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental Problems

Six northern districts of Bangladesh are at risk of severe drought

Six northern districts of Bangladesh are at risk of severe drought


Drought is a common feature of the climate in most parts of the world. Drought mainly causes by long periods of dry weather, insufficient rainfall, evaporation, and transpiration over precipitation.

This causes water shortage in the concerned areas. Daily water reservoirs like wells, canals, and bills dry up. Bangladesh faced the worst drought in the last few decades, in 1978 and 1979.

About 42 percent of the country’s Aman paddy was damaged due to drought. Then in 1997, Bangladesh had to face a loss of about 500 million dollars in agriculture due to drought.

Even after all these years, the risk of this natural disaster has not decreased. About 22 districts of the country are at risk of drought. Among these, six districts of the country are at very high risk.

These data have emerged in the research report titled ‘Bangladesh Climate and Disaster Risk Atlas’ of the Asian Development Bank. The report has officially been released in two volumes.

The researchers say that the primary purpose of this report is to identify the risk of climate change and disaster. In addition, the atlas will serve as an effective tool for infrastructure planning, design and strategy formulation, quick action on hazard mitigation, and climate change and disaster response.

In addition, it aims to promote sustainable climate-resilient development in agriculture and guide stakeholders in dealing with climate and disaster risks in Bangladesh’s water resources sector by raising awareness.

According to the report, the total land in the drought-prone districts of the country is about 5.46 million hectares. These drought-prone areas are mainly located in the northwestern and northern regions.

Among them are 13 drought-prone districts, six drought- and flood-prone districts, and three districts at risk of drought and flash floods. Naogaon, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Chapainawabganj, Jaipurhat, and Thakurgaon—six districts are at very high risk.

The leading cause of drought is late rains or the premature end of monsoon rains. Such droughts had the most significant impact in 1978 and 1979. About 42 percent of the country’s arable land of crops suffered direct damage at that time.

Due to this, Rice production decreased by about 2 million tons. Similarly, in 1997, 1 million tons of paddy were damaged due to drought. Of which 600,000 tons were saplings. In total, the loss in agriculture was about 500 million dollars.

The North Bengal districts at risk of drought include Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Joypurhat, Naogaon, and Chapainawabganj. Besides, Meherpur, Chuadanga, Jhenaidah, and Magura of Khulna division and Gazipur district of Dhaka division are also at risk of drought.

Rajshahi, Natore, Bogra, Sirajganj, Pabna, and Kushtia are at risk of floods and drought. Bandarban, Rangamati, and Khagrachari are the districts prone to flash floods and drought. Apart from drought, these 22 districts of the country are facing other natural disasters.

According to the report, Bangladesh has various risks caused by natural and climate change. Apart from drought, three districts are at risk of only earthquakes, nine are at risk of floods, six are at risk of flash floods and earthquakes, and six districts are at risk of floods and earthquakes. On the other hand, 16 districts are at risk of salinity and cyclone.

The estuaries of Brahmaputra, Ganga, and Meghna rivers cover a large area of Bangladesh. During the floods of 1992 and 1998, more than half of the country has inundated. More than 0.3 million hectares of crops in 24 districts were affected by the 2017 floods.

Bangladesh ranks seventh among countries under natural risk between 2000-2019. As a result, it has been seen that each of the country’s 64 districts is at risk of some natural disaster and climate change.

Bangladesh is considered the largest delta in the world. Brahmaputra, Padma, and Meghna rivers are the main water drainage systems.

The riparian country is vulnerable due to high climatic, weather-related, geophysical, and topographical conditions. The topography of Bangladesh describes as low and flat.

It has an elevation of fewer than six meters above mean sea level. Bangladesh’s natural risks are divided into two categories; these are Climate-related hazards, and risks include floods, cyclones, droughts, cold currents, salinity, and river erosion. Geophysical hazards and risks include earthquakes and landslides.

Due to the geological setting of Bangladesh, the tropical monsoon climate prevails. Bangladesh is already experiencing increased temperatures due to seasonal variations in rainfall, higher elevations, higher humidity, climate change, erratic rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and accelerating salinity intrusion, ultimately exacerbating the frequency of disasters.

In this regard, MA Mannan, Planning Minister, said that “Climate change is a severe problem for Bangladesh. We survive by facing various natural disasters and risks. Prime Minister Sheik Hasina is implementing various initiatives to deal with such risks and disasters.

Our development partners are providing various activities and support. We are working like developed countries. Such activities and development plans have taken so that the coastal people, the Haor people, the people of the drought areas, and the backward people are better off.

We request that the relevant organizations and ministries bring practical projects to mitigate the risks of climate change and natural disasters. We are encouraged to bring the project to the Planning Commission. Together we will tackle climate change and natural disasters.”

Professor Dr. Shamsul Alam, Minister of State for Planning, said, ” Bangladesh-Delta-Plan-2100‘ is considered one of the most important means of development and dealing with all kinds of natural and climate change risks in the country. Around 37 billion US dollars are required for its implementation.

In the meantime, He also shares that he has talked with the country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He added, “We are planning to investigate considering the Delta plan as the basis of our development. It will be much easy to deal with such risks and dangers if ADB increases the investment.”

Addressing the impact of climate change is essential for sustainable development. As the government is undertaking various projects for sustainable development, it is important to act appropriately to deal with the effects of climate change.

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