Tags / overpopulation
Mohammad Razzaque Miah sleeps inside his temporary tent in Mymensing. He migrated from Kurigram to Mymensing after losing his house in a flood.
Bangladesh is a country of rivers and waterways on which large swaths of its population live. River bank erosion and flooding are common and continuous process due to global warming and rising sea levels. This continuous natural hazard is destroying homes and livelihoods and turning millions of Bangladeshis into homeless climate refugees.
The factors controlling river and stream formation are complex and interrelated. These factors include the amount and rate of water supply from rain and upstream activity, sediment deposited into the stream systems, catchment geology, and the type and extent of vegetation in the catchment. As these factors change over time, river systems respond by altering their shape and course. Unpredictable weather patterns also make flooding a common problem as the course of the rivers shift.
As a result of riverbank erosion and flooding, millions of people are losing their homes and fertile land every year. Most people who lose their homes or land become climate refugees, often pouring into the country’s overpopulated cities penniless and looking for new opportunities. However, due to overpopulation, migrating climate refugees often arrive in the cities only to find themselves scrounging for food, work and accommodation. Thus, Bangladesh’s most vulnerable citizens are losing their battle against nature and are only made poorer and more desperate.
A sunken passenger vessel sits grounded on Kamarjani island, near Gaibandha, Bangladesh on 20 January 2015.
Local people say that there are many new islands emerging in the Brahmaputra river as a result of changing water levels. As a result, passenger vessels which sank a couple of years ago and were not recovered sometimes surface as water levels change.
A homeless climate refugee sleeps in a park at Dhaka. The Bangladeshi capital is one of the most densely populated cities on earth. One of the major contributing factors to this swell in population is the mass migration of people from the impoverished countryside into the city. Many of those leaving the countryside fled after losing homes, crops, and livelihoods to natural catastrophes.
Mohammad Rashid Miah cut down all of the trees around his house on Alexander Island, in Laxmipur. Having already lost his house to the river, Mr. Miah is salvaging his trees in order to sell them and save enough money to move to Dhaka.
Rubel stands in front of his uprooted coconut trees on Alexander Island, in Laxmipur. After loosing his cow to river bank erosion, these coconut trees were his last source of livelihood. However, these trees have now also fallen victim to the river.
Rabeya Khatun mourns her lost husband and son on Alexander Island, in Laxmipur. Her husband and son lost their lives when their house was swallowed by the river as they slept. Rabeya was at her mother's house when the incident occurred and thus survived.
Mohammad Ikram stands in front of the Meghna river, near Alexander Island, in Laxmipur. He has seen his neighbors migrating and even dying because of water related disasters. Despite strong signals that it is best to leave the area, he does not know what to do because his land is all he has.
Sadarghat Launch Terminal, situated on the bank of the river Buriganga in Dhaka, is one of the busiest places in Bangladesh. Most people migrating from the countryside pass through this port to migrate to Dhaka. Many of those migrating are climate refugees.
Mohammad Shahjahan transports tin sheets and other materials from his house. Some families actually migrate before disaster strikes so they do not lose all of their belongings in an impending disaster. Mohammad deconstructed his entire house and moved it elsewhere before it was destroyed by the water.
Mohammad Mamun stands over his submerged house in the Padma River in Dohar, Dhaka. Mr. Mamun's house was swallowed by the Padma after river bank erosion resulted in a land implosion.
Mohammad Romjal Ali takes a selfie with his destroyed house. Mr. Ali's house was destroyed by the eroding river bank. Dohar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Rabeya Begum stands over the roof of her house which she salvaged after it was destroyed by river bank erosion. She is going to use the salvaged materials to build her new home. Dohar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Khadija Akhter was only able to save this cabinet and some bricks from her house after river bank erosion resulted in her house being destroyed and submerged. Dohar, Dhaka.
Mohammad Hashmot Ali's house sits tilted and half submerged in the Padma river after the bank on which his house was built gave way. Dohar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
A women who lost her son in the Pinak-6 sinking points to the river Padma as she voices her fury at the Bangladeshi government. The woman feels that if the government had taken the initiative to build a bridge across the river, then her son would not have been missing. The Pinak-6 was a passenger vessel used to ferry people from one side of the Padma river to the other. The boat sank as it made a crossing.
A women crawls on the ground at the Mawa Ferry Ghat on August 4, 2014 after her husband went missing when the Pinak-6 passenger vessel sank on the Padma river.
A survivor of the Pinak-6 sinking cries on the shore of the Padma river. He was able to save himself, but not his mother, who drowned in the disaster. While many people who take the boats know how to swim, when the boats capsize many passengers panic and cannot save themselves. The saris and baggy clothes popular amongst Bangladeshis also make it hard to swim and lead many to drown.
People gather at the Mawa Ferry Ghat near Dhaka after a passenger vessel named Pinak-6 sank. On that sunken passenger vessel, 51 people died and more than 200 went missing.
August 4, 2014
Three women cry at the Mawa Ferry Ghat near Dhaka, after their father went missing when the Pinak-6 passenger ferry capsized the Padma river.
August 4, 2014
Two sisters become senseless while crying for their father at the Mawa Ferry Ghat near Dhaka.Their father was one of more than 200 passengers who when missing when the Pinak-6 passenger ferry sank in the Padma river.
A women is cries at the Mawa Ferry Ghat as her only brother went missing after the Pinak-6 passenger vessel sank in the Padma river.
Two women cry for their missing husbands at the Mawa Ferry Ghat after after the sinking of the Pinak-6 passenger vessel.
A women is cries with her family members at the Mawa Ferry Ghat near Dhaka after her husband and only son went missing after the Pinak-6 passenger vessel is sank in the Padma River.
A Bangladesh Navy diver signals that he has found another dead body from the sunken Pinak-6 passenger vessel.
Locals gather at at Mawa Ferry Ghat near Dhaka after the Pinak-6 passenger vessel sank just offshore as it crossed to the other side of the river.
August 4, 2014
An overloaded passenger vessel at Sadarghat Launch Terminal, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 27 July 2014. Overloading is one of the reasons for the sinking of passenger vessels.
May 2014-January 2015
Located on the delta of the Ganges river, Bangladesh is a country of waterways. There are around 300 rivers in Bangladesh, which make up 24,140 km of waterways. For this reason, river transportation is used more than road or rail transportation.
However, poorly designed transport boats, poor maintenance, recruitment of unskilled boat drivers, and the overloading of transport vessels are resulting in catastrophic boat disasters which kill thousands. It has been reported that in last 15 years there have been 573 boat accidents. These accidents have claimed the lives of more than 5000 people, and left around 1000 people missing and unaccounted for.
River transport is particularly popular amongst Bangladesh’s poor, as it is much cheaper than overland transport. As a result, most victims of riverboat disasters come from poor backgrounds, as they have no choice but to travel by boat. Many of those who require transport in the first place are the primary breadwinners of a family, as they need to travel to and from work. Therefore, those most affected by these tragic disasters are some of Bangladesh’s most vulnerable. Many of those killed leave behind dependent and impoverished families.
Navy divers have recover the body of a dead child who was killed the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel capsized on the Meghna River near Munshigonj, Dhaka. On that sunken passenger vessel 54 people died and 250 went missing.
May 16, 2014
A mother anxiously waits to hear news about her missing son who disappeared when the MV Miraj - 4 capsized on the Meghna River near Munshigonj, Dhaka.
May 16, 2014
Relatives wait recover the dead bodies of lost relatives who were killed when the MV Miraj - 4 sank on the Meghna River.
May 16, 2014
Rescuers try to recover dead bodies from the submerged wreckage of the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel on Meghna River near Munshigonj, Dhaka. On that sunken passenger vessel 54 people died and 250 more went missing.
May 17, 2014
A crane pulls the wreckage of the MV Miraj-4 out of the Meghna River near Munshigonj, Dhaka. On that sunken passenger vessel 54 people died and 250 went missing.
May 17, 2014
A dead body floats in the Meghna River 40 hours after the sinking of the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel.
A relative of a missing passenger from the MV Miraj-4 is waits for his relative's dead body on the bank of Meghna River near Munshigonj, Dhaka, Bangladesh on May 16, 2014.
"Where is my mom ?! where is my mom ?!" a man cries on the bank of Meghna River. The man was able to save himself, but not his mother, with whom he was traveling, when the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel capsized.
A man cries on the bank of Meghna River. The man was able to save himself, but not his mother, with whom he was traveling, when the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel capsized.
A rescue worker cries after spending the day recovering dead bodies from the sunken MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel.
Rescue workers recover a dead body from the wreckage of the MV Miraj-4 passenger vessel.
Rescuers have rescued a dead body from Meghna river near Munshigonj, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 16 May 2014. This deadbody is rectified as one of the passenger of the passenger vessel named MV Miraj - 4 which was sank at Meghna river near Munshigonj, Dhaka, Bangladesh on 15 May 2014. On that sunken passenger vessel 54 people died and 250 more passenger are lost.