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Damage we face due to natural calamities

Published : Saturday, 30 May, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 242
Tarequl Islam Munna

Damage we face due to natural calamities

Damage we face due to natural calamities

One of the most important impacts related to climate change and environmental hazards will be the forced migration of people throughout Bangladesh. This massive forced migration will be occurred as a result of loss of homes, lands, property and livelihoods and vulnerability. Bangladesh's geographical vulnerability lies in the fact that it is an exceedingly flat, low-lying, alluvial plain covered by over 230 rivers and rivulets with approximately 580 kilometres of exposed coastline along the Bay of Bengal. In addition, there are three geological faults running underneath the capital of Dhaka. As a result of its geography, Bangladesh frequently suffers from devastating floods, cyclones, storm surges, tornadoes, riverbank erosion, and drought as well as constituting a very high-risk location for seismic activity.

Natural calamities and geographical location are responsible for our economic backwardness, in many ways. Economy of Bangladesh repeatedly faces natural calamity and level of poverty increases with the prevailing disaster scenario. At least 12 major tropical cyclones hit the country since 1965, leaving 479,490 people dead. According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Bangladesh was one of the worst sufferers of cyclones in terms of casualties.

Rapid global warming have been affecting the whole world. As a result, our low lying land will be affected by the rising sea level at even greater magnitude. Additionally, Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change disasters including floods, river erosion, droughts, and cyclone. Bangladesh's flat topography, low-lying and climatic features, combined with its population density and socio-economic environment, make it highly susceptible to many natural hazards, including floods, river erosion, droughts, cyclones and earthquakes.

Flood is occurring in some places in the world where there were no signs of flood for the past thousands of years. The number of deaths due to climate change all around the world is also increasing. Climate change is also affecting rice production in Bangladesh. Climate change would also put a huge impact on the river systems. Due to the ecological disasters, political borders will also be at stake as people would move beyond the borders in extreme case.

A data released from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) show that levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached another new record high. Global average levels of carbon dioxide reached 407.8 parts per million in 2018. Not long ago, 400 parts per million was seen as an unthinkable tipping point. The last time there was a comparable concentration of CO2 was between 3 and 5 million years ago, when the temperature was between 2 and 3 degree warmer and sea levels were 10 to 20 meter higher than today. The last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.

Currently 39 countries in the world emit about 45 per cent carbon. China is above all in this regard then the United States and India. The underdeveloped countries, the affected countries and the LDC-affiliated countries are pushing the developed countries to reduce carbon emissions. Carbon emitting countries, on the other hand, say they want economic assistance to reduce emissions. With this, there is a debt gap between the countries. At the same time, the demand for keeping the global temperature up to 2 degrees Celsius is being repeatedly emphasized. But according to the Paris Agreement, it should never rise above the maximum two degrees Celsius.

IPCC says by 2050, around 50 million people will migrate because of climate change. Due to riverbank erosion, many people are already forced to migrate from their places of origin to other places in Bangladesh. Major rivers like Jamuna, Ganges and Padma has already eaten up around 1,590 square kilometres of floodplains rendering 1.6 million people homeless since 1973, according to Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services in 2009. Around 4.7 million people were displaced between 2008 till 2014 due to natural disasters in Bangladesh, according to 2015 estimation by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

Just 1 degree centigrade increase of global temperature and very little rise in sea level will result in inundation of a large area of Bangladesh and thus displacement of 40 million people by the end of this century. Two per cent GDP of Bangladesh is regularly lost due to natural calamities and environmental degradation, he said, adding that climate change induced salinity and other disasters are harming rice and other crop production significantly in the country. The ambassador informed the thing at the open debate on addressing the impacts of climate-related disaster on international peace on January 25, 2019.

One of the most important impacts related to climate change and environmental hazards will be the forced migration of people throughout Bangladesh as a result of loss of homes, lands, property and livelihoods. Between 2008 and 2014, 4.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters in Bangladesh, according to 2015 estimation by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. A World Bank report revealed that Bangladesh saw around 234,000 deaths, including 80,000 in urban areas, due to environmental pollution and related health risks in 2015.

Key factor pushing poorer to abandon their homes and communities and to try and rebuild lives elsewhere. It's just that everything is in Dhaka and people are all coming to Dhaka. Some 2,000 people settle in Dhaka every day. At least 400,000 people move to Dhaka every year, according to the World Bank, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 70% of Dhaka's slum-dwellers moved there fleeing some sort of environmental shock.
Around 12 million of the children are most affected live around the powerful river systems which flow through Bangladesh those regularly burst their banks. The most recent major flood of the Brahmaputra River in 2017 inundated at least 480 community health clinics and damaged some 50,000 tube-wells, essential for meeting communities' safe water needs, said UNICEF.

UNICEF points out that since the early 1990s, investment and action--both in disaster preparedness and risk reduction programmes--have made vulnerable communities in Bangladesh more resilient to the dangers of climatic change shock. For example, one result has been a dramatic reduction in the mortality rate caused by cyclones over recent decades.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended at a meeting of the two-day International Conference on 'Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation' to counter the adverse impact of climate change and Bangladesh Best Teacher in Climate Adaptation At the same time. He said that Bangladesh is "miraculous" in dealing with climate change.

He said that proper weather forecasting, community-based pre-warning system and cyclone shelter have helped to remove 16 lakh people safely before it hit the cyclone. The people and government leadership that has achieved leadership in adaptation exercises is no less than a miracle.

Every time a cyclone hits the coastal area of Bangladesh it causes enormous loss for the country damaging property and killing people. Therefore, it is necessary to take appropriate measures to reduce the loss from cyclone and storm surge.

Tarequl Islam Munna is Correspondent, American International News
Service, Columnist and Conservator,
Wildlife and Environment

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