Roughly 12 Million Char Residents in Bangladesh Grapple with the Annual Challenges of Floods : A Part from The Book : Living with Floods in Bangladesh’s Riverine Islands: Understanding Vulnerability and Resilience

This research investigates the susceptibility of Bangladesh’s riverine islands, termed “Chars,” to flooding disasters exacerbated by climate change. Chars are dynamic landforms resulting from ongoing riverbank erosion and sediment deposition in principal rivers and coastal areas, typically taking 2–3 years to form. Remarkably, approximately 10% of the global population resides on such islands, with an estimated 4–5% of Bangladesh’s populace inhabiting chars, which span nearly 7200 km² in the country. Bangladesh boasts 56 large and 226 smaller chars. Due to environmental variations, these chars are recurrently prone to multiple hazards, rendering their inhabitants highly vulnerable. Roughly 12 million char residents in Bangladesh grapple with the annual challenges of floods, erosion, and pervasive poverty. As climate change-induced flooding does not affect all societal segments uniformly, many studies have underscored the disproportionately negative impacts on char inhabitants. These regions are notably remote and fragile, with an alarming 80% of char dwellers living in extreme poverty and lacking private land ownership. Past evidence indicates that economically disadvantaged communities bear a disproportionate brunt of disasters. Consequently, the economically vulnerable populations of chars are expected to experience the harshest consequences of flood disasters due to their limited protective mechanisms and reduced resilience against such adversities.

Author(s) Details:

Babul Hossain,
Management Science and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing-210000, China.

Guoqing Shi,
National Research Center for Resettlement, Hohai University, Nanjing-210000, China.

Md. Nazirul Islam Sarker,
School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

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