Tags / Submersion
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 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.