Bangladesh 28 Jun 2014 00:00
Rising global temperatures have been accompanied by changes in weather and climate, and many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. Climate change is now one of the greatest threats facing the planet.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries, as the lives and livelihoods of millions of Bangladeshis are challenged due to climate change. A study by UK researcher Maplecroft cites Bangladesh at the top of a list of 32 nations at risk due to the alarming effects of climate change.
Low lying coastal areas are speculated to be submerged as the sea level rises, and as world temperature continues to go up. Two recent cyclones, Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009) totally devastated the coastal territories of Satkhira and Barguna along with many others in Bangladesh.
Hundreds if not thousands of people have lost their land and their homes to erosion along riverbanks and coastal areas. Bangladesh is one of the countries in the world with the highest proportion of the population living in coastal areas. Some 32% of the habitable land lies in coastal areas, equivalent to 47,211 square kilometers. According to the population census in 2001, about 35 million people, or 28% of the total population, live in these low-lying coastal areas.
Another cause for alarm that exacerbates the effects of climate change on the population in Bangladesh is pollution. By throwing waste chemicals and oil from factories into canals and rivers, soil and groundwater become polluted. Industrial processes are not only a factor in climate change, but also produce toxic waste that threatens Dhaka's natural resources.