Habiba, U.
Shaw, R.
Takeuchi, Y.


Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Year of Publication:


Many people as well as the government in Bangladesh perceive floods and cyclones as recurrent environmental hazards in the country. They also view that these two hazards are the main contributors to crop loss in the country. But, in reality, droughts afflict the country at least as frequently as do major floods and cyclones, averaging about once in 2.5 years (Adnan, 1993, p. 1; Erickson, 1993, p. 5; Hossain 1990, p. 33). In some years, droughts not only cause a greater damage to crops than floods or cyclones, but they also generally affect more farmers across a wider area (Paul, 1995). If not institutionally and economically tackled, the consequences tend to have a far-reaching effect on the given society, and the socioeconomic problems would assume a chronic pattern.

The international community considers Bangladesh as the country most threatened by disasters. During the period between 1991 and 2000, Bangladesh has suffered from 93 large-scale natural disasters that killed 0.2 million people and caused loss of properties valued at about $59 billion in the agricultural and infrastructure sector (Climate Change Cell, 2009). According to the forecasts of IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report regarding climate change in Bangladesh, average temperature has increased by 1°C for May and by 0.5°C in November. According to the report, it is also stated that Bangladesh would experience heavier monsoons and that the melting of Himalayan glaciers will cause higher river flows and severe floods. Rainfall will become heavier and more erratic while droughts will increase in frequency.

Taken from introduction

Chapter from “Community, Environment and Disaster Risk Management”

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