River Erosion in Bangladesh: The Complaint-free Crying Sound of the People on the Riverbank (Part -2)
In the previous article, we had discussed the several causes of river erosion. In that post, we saw various natural and human-made causes of river erosion. In continuation, we will discuss the effect of river erosion. We cannot say river erosion is only simply a land change.
River erosion is deeply related to the lives of millions of people, society, education, food habits, politics, economy, and many other things. River erosion changes the known surroundings that people have lived in from inborn, the huge crop fields that provide foods for millions of people, the roads, the markets, the educational institutions, and the old structures of thousands of years of tradition.
All this? River erosion changes the geographical structure of an area. It changes human life, but it also changes the environment, and it changes the ecosystem. The impact of river erosion on human life and the environment can be described in several sections. Today I will discuss some of the effects of river erosion.
- Impact on social life,
- Impact on the economy,
- Impact on the communication system,
- Increase terrorist activity,
- Adverse effects on the health system,
- Impact on the education system and
- Impact on politics.
1) Impact on Social Life:
The first problem observed due to river erosion is a change in social life. People like to live along the river because of economic development and easy communication.
This facility brings difficulties at a time when the people’s living house break down and go to the riverbed. As a result, people lose their favorite habitat. According to The New Humanitarian
“Every year, almost 0.3 million people lost their home due to river erosion in Bangladesh”. In this situation, two types of people are observed in society.
A) Homeless people:
Many people lose their homes and become homeless due to river erosion. Since they do not have their own money, they cannot buy new land and build a house. These people have no shelter to keep their heads; many elite families became homeless in this way.
So, homeless people are the biggest problem caused by river erosion is. As river erosion is evident in many areas of Bangladesh, thousands of homeless people roam here and there in search of shelter.
Most of the time, they have to build their houses again on the eroded bank of the river, and successively they have to lose their houses and have to face indescribable sufferings.
Sometimes they have to live in a dangerous hilly area or in an unhealthy slum of the city, or some of them have to live by boats on the river. Thus, day after day lives is spent at risk.
B) Migrant people:
According to Bangladesh Disaster Summary Sheet 2019“Displacement is the immediate impact of riverbank erosion.” As a result of river erosion, many people arrange their accommodation elsewhere but have to move away from their original residence.
Migrants may overcome the housing problem, but there is no economic guarantee. At the same time, there are fears about life and economic security. Thus the displaced people suffer in their identity lessness, and in most cases, the new society cannot accept them easily.
People suffer from an inferiority complex in society and spend their lives. People who are endangered due to river erosion have to live lives of inferiority in society. In this way, some people have been displaced and lost their security of lives, economic security, and social status.
2) Impact on Economic:
River erosion not only destroys people’s homes but also causes economic damage. A study was conducted on river erosion that affected people. The study finds that “Empirical data shows that almost 70% of respondents have lost less than Tk.0.50 million from the homestead area loss.
19% of respondents’ opinion is they have lost within Tk.0.50 -1.00 million due to erosion. 11% of respondents have lost Tk.1.00 -1.50 million. Some people lose their economic flow in a short time. Let’s talk about some of the economic implications due to river erosion.
A) Loss of croplands:
Due to siltation, riverbank lands are usually very fertile. People grow crops on this land to meet their food shortages and sell surplus food to meet other necessities of life.
As a result of river erosion in Bangladesh, huge agricultural land is being lost every year into the riverbed. For this reason, it reduces cropland and disrupts food production. Farmers are suffering economic losses as they cannot cultivate the land. Many rich people become poor in this way.
B) Lost of working place:
Not only cropland, but many people also earn money in the riverbank areas in various ways. As the communication system became easier, many institutions were formed on the banks of rivers.
Many businesses are created. Many markets stations get lost in the river due to river erosion, along with many shops, schools, colleges are lost. Many people earn money by working in these organizations.
People lost their jobs and became unemployed when the market collapsed on the riverbank. This situation created an economic crisis in society.
3) Impact on the Communication System:
Since ancient times, much of the communication system in Bangladesh has been river-centric. Many people choose waterways to navigate because rivers are scattered all over the country, and the transportation is comparably comfortable and easy and also chipper to others.
This convenient communication system is disrupted due to river erosion. Many local riverports disappeared into the riverbed due to river erosion. In this way, the normal communication system of the people disrupts. Therefore, our communication system effects are observed as a result of river erosion.
4) Increased Terrorist Activities:
When people lose their homesteads, croplands, workplaces due to river erosions and become destitute, their chances of increasing terrorist activities. In this way, injustice, violence, and robbery increase in society. Therefore, due to river erosion, various criminal activities are observed in society.
5) Adverse effects on the health system:
According to research in 2019, “More than half percent (56%) of households fall into the insecure food category with an average per capita calorie consumption of 1867 kcal/day”. As a result of river erosion, people lose their homes and become disoriented.
Their shelter, food, safe water, and health care are at risk. They are also far from being able to get primary health care due to economic weakness.
Therefore, due to the impact of river erosion, society’s health services are disrupted. They suffer from malnutrition due to a lack of balanced food. In this way, day by day, people feel physically sick and have an unhealthy physical condition.
6) Impact on the education system:
People suffering from river erosion cannot get an education as they are busy with shelter, food, earning money, etc. Their children pause school education.
Children are also forced to work to overcome the economic crisis. As a result, their educational life is in a risky situation. The education rate is decreased in that society. Thus river erosion affects the educational attainment of an area.
7) Impact on Politics:
River erosion not only affects people’s livelihood, economy, and education system. This river erosion also has political implications.
River erosion has caused thousands of people to move from one area to another. This gives a new dimension to the politics of the new area. As the displaced people’s opinions are increase, so makes the demand for the votes of the displaced people.
All in all, in local politics, river erosion, affected people keep an important role. Not only that, the government allocates various budgets for river erosion.
These include river governance, construction of Embankments, construction of shelters, construction of new markets, rehabilitation arrangements. The local politics is active over these demands. So, there is a lot of political influence in river governance.
From the above discussion, it is clear that the impact of river erosion is very important in society. As a result, social living condition changes drastically. People lose their homes and their livelihoods, security of life, opportunities for education, identity.
River erosion affected people moving to other areas to build houses, but they fall into new social problems when they move to a new society. River erosion changes the image of communication in an area.
Our next article will discuss river erosion in more detail. Follow our site to read all the important articles on environment-related.