An embankment eroded by the Jamuna River, Bangladesh

 

For those with little or no knowledge of Bangladesh, we recommend A History of Bangladesh (2009) by Willem Schendel (Cambridge University Press). For a short survey it is very sensitive to environmental and ecological issues.

 

Videos and Photographs on Erosion, Displacement and Climate Refugees in Bangladesh [Newly Revised]

A nice four minute summary video specifically on riverbank erosion by United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) is available on YouTube.

A somewhat longer un-narrated portrayal of similar processes that focuses on people shifting residence has recently been posted by the Association for Climate Refugees, Bangladesh.

The most detailed video academic discussion of the social, cultural and economic dimensions of climate displacement can be found in Climate Refugees of Bangladesh by Kevin S. Boiragi. It is in four parts:  Part-1 (14 min.), Part 2 (14 min.) , Part 3 (14 min.), Part 4 (4 min.)

Moving Coastlines: Emergence and Use of Land in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Estuary by Koen de Wilde is a 54 minute lecture on migration and coastal erosion that is well worth viewing, as many dimensions of migration considered in it are relevant to riverbank erosion. It is hosted on the Water Channel, where other videos consider channel control and resettlement.

Gram Bangla Motion Pictures presents a nicely photographed seven and a half minute video appropriately titled River Erosion and Village Life with the River of Meghna in Bangladesh.

A much shorter YouTube video by ukdfid is also useful. So are the images in the Bangla language news item titled River Bank Erosion in Bangladesh.

This Time video shows self-settlement on new chars in Noakali and government and NGO attempts to stabilize their lives there. The BBC’s report Bangladesh and Global Warming considers similar issues in the delta.

In 2009 the massive cyclone Aila wrought massive devasatation on lowlying parts of Bangladesh. Storm surges and tides combined to destroy hugh swaths of agricultural land and many settlements. Some estimate that as many as 700 km of protective embankments were weakened or destroyed. The Human Face of Climate Displacement in Bangladesh interviews a spokesperson for a very large population that recently established itself on embankments in Khulna after being displaced by permanent land submergence caused by Aila (2009). On this, see also the EU video Cyclone Aila Bangladesh, which documents life after displacement by Aila. Washed Away dramatically  shows the effects of post-Aida flooding of a village that was forced to resettle on unsafe land. We want to Live chronicles the suffering of Shorbanu, a widow and mother displaced by Aida to an embankment and where she subsequently faced repeated flooding. See also the informative personal accounts of Bangladesh environmental refugees portrayed in the eight Not Waving But Drowning by InternuncioVideo.

Human Planet is an 8-part British television documentary series shown on BBC. A short part of Episode 7: Rivers: Friend and Foe has dramatic footage of riverine displacement.

A 25 minute documentary on the PBS program NOW titled Water World addresses the many possible impacts of climate change on Bangladesh, addressing chiefly sea level rise, storm surge flooding, char formation, and displacement onto embankments.

This short account by Philip Nagar shows how rapidly bank erosion sometimes occurs. This fairly extended piece shows a vain attempt to use sandbags to stop riverbank erosion.

A few others:

Climate change in Bangladesh

River erosion project, Gaibandha, Bangladesh

Climate change in Bangladesh - Champa by ChristianAid

Jonathan Bjerg Møller has produced some striking photographic and video images of very similar processes affecting island char dwellers, primarily in the southern part of the country. Here the erosive force is the sea. The Lost Village presents photographs of the first order. See also some of his images in Nature`s Laboratory. His videos are also presented here. Wahidul's story is a particularly striking photo essay on the erosive effects of storm surge. Nilufa's story is a video about life on a marginal char in northern Bangladesh, where the majority of men are temporary economic migrants working elsewhere to help support their families, and where women do most of the round of everyday farming activities; also titled The Village without Men. Aila's Victims shows some of the consequences of this devastating cyclone.

See also Sinking Sundarbans: An exhibition of photographs by Peter Caton as presented in The Guardian.

There are a number of similarly themed short photo collections available on the Web. Some notable ones include: Miki Alcalde’s photo essay Vanishing Bangladesh, with images from 2007; another by Palash Khan in the Daily Star (2011) titled Eroding Lives (see also his Flash slideshow); and the very artistic untitled set by Munem Wasif shortlisted for the Prix Pictet.

There are roughly 115 river erosion related images on BRAC’s main website offered for sale.

 

 

 

Web Links [To be updated soon]

IMPORTANT: We periodically update our links and bibliography. If you have an web site or on line document that you believe relates directly to riverbank erosion in Bangladesh that isn't listed here, please send it to us through our Contact page.

Links to general sites concerned with refugees and forced migration are generally available, and so are not reproduced here. Any one of the first few following sites however will provide access to such links.

An excellecnt source of online readable materials on forced migration as well as current issues and news is Forced Migration Online, created and maintained by the Refugee Studies Center, University of Oxford.

PreventionWeb provides many links to other sites dealing with disaster reduction and response.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center of the Norwegian Refugee Council primarily tracks political refugees who have not crossed their country's boundaries, but also addresses climate or environmentally forced migration.

The Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog is a very up to date report on forced migration news and sites.

The Bangladedia contains a number of pertinent entries on topics such as Natural Hazard and Riverbank Erosion, as well as general information articles on Bangladesh. See also the Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC).

M Zulfiquar Ali Islam has made available online a highly relevant paper: Indigenous Adaptation Strategies of the Riverbank Erosion Displacees in Bangladesh: A Study of Two Northwestern Riparian Villages. He has another recent paper specifically addressing the adaptive strategies of women displacees in these villages.

Tod Ragsdale, Knut Oberhagemann and M. Amir Faisal have produced a very recent paper on mitigating riverbank erosion threatening an embankment community along the Jamuna.

The Chars Livelihood Project site details their work mitigating poverty on the ever-shifting depositional islands in the Jamuna.

 

 

Riverbank Erosion, Flood and Environmentally Forced Migration in Bangladesh: A Bibliography

[Major update in January 2012]

The bibliography below has been updated as of January 20, 2012 and now contains roughly 700 items. This was a major update. An intensive search was made for published and Internet-available studies of riverbank erosion and forced migration using online databases, Internet searches and a thorough review of references provided by available studies. Material not closely bearing on the general subject was removed from the bibliography and a first attempt was made to regularize the format of included references. We believe this bibliography is now comprehensive, with little likelihood of there being major omissions.

Attention academic users: This bibliography is free for everyone to use but we would greatlly appreciate that it be cited if it contributes to your research studies.

Abdullah, A.A. and K.A.S. Murshid (1986) Inter District Changes and Variations in Landlessness in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Development Studies 14(3):97-107.

Abdullah, Mohammad and Erica F. Wheeler (1985) Seasonal Variations and the Intra-household Distribution of Food in a Bangladeshi Village. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 41:1305-13.

Abdullah, T.A. (1983) Report on Homestead Agricultural Production in Rural Bangladesh. Dhaka: The Ford Foundation.

Abdullah, Taherunnessa and Sondra Zeidenstein (1982) Village Women in Bangladesh: Prospects for Change. New York: Pergamon Press.

Abrar, Chowdhury Rafiqul and S. Nurullah Azad (2004) Coping with displacement: riverbank erosion in north-west Bangladesh. Dhaka: RDRS Bangladesh, North Bengal Institute for Alternative Research and Advocacy, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit.

Adnan, S. (1991) Floods, People, and the Environment: Institutional Aspects of Flood Protection Programmes in Bangladesh, 1990 1st ed. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Research and Advisory Services.

Adnan, Shakeeb (1989) The State and Village Society: The Political Economy of Agricultural Development in Bangladesh. Dhaka: University Press Limited.

Adnan, Shapan (2007) Departures from Everyday Resistance and Flexible Strategies of Domination: The Making and Unmaking of a Poor Peasant Mobilization in Bangladesh. Journal of Agrarian Change 7(2):183-224.

Adnan, Shapan. (1991) Floods, People, and the Environment: Institutional Aspects of Flood Protection Programmes in Bangladesh, 1990) Dhaka, Bangladesh: Research and Advisory Services.

Agarwal, Bina (1984) Rural Women and the HYV Rice Technology. Economic and Politicial Weekly, 9(13).

Agarwal, Bina (1985) Women and Technological Change in Agriculture: The Asian and African Experience. In Technology and Rural Women: Conceptual and Empirical Issues, Iftikhar Ahmed, ed. London: George Allen and Unwin. pp. 67-114.

Agarwal, Bina (1986) Cold Hearths and Barren Slopes: The Woodfuel Crisis in the Third World. London: Zed Books.

Agarwal, Bina (1986) Women, Poverty and Agricultural Growth in India. Journal of Peasant Studies 13(4):165-219.

Agarwal, Bina (1988) Who Sows? Who Reaps? Women and Land Rights in India. Journal of Peasant Studies 15(4):530-581.

Agarwal, Bina (1989) Rural Women, Poverty and Natural Resources: Sustenance, Sustainability and Struggle for Change. In Poverty in India, R. Cassen and S. Guhan, eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Agarwal, Bina (1990) Social Security and the Family: Coping with Seasonality and Calamity in Rural India. Journal of Peasant Studies 17(3):341-412.

Agarwal, Bina. (1994) A field of one’s own: gender and land rights in South Asia / Bina Agarwal. Cambridge [England]; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Agarwala S, T. Ota, A. U. Ahmed, J. Smith and M.V. Aalst (2003) Development and climate change in Bangladesh: focus on coastal flooding and the sundarbans. Organisation for economic co-operation and development (OECD), Paris, 2003

Ahamad, Mazbahul Golam and Rezai Karim Khondker (2010) Climate Risks, Seasonal Food Insecurity and Consumption Coping Strategies: Evidences from a Micro-level Study from Northern Bangladesh. Draft, 18 pp

Ahmad, Mohiuddin, ed. (1989) Flood in Bangladesh. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Community Development Library.

Ahmad, Nafis (1956) The patern of rural settlement in East Pakistan. Geographical Review 46(3):388-398.

Ahmad, Qazi Kholiquzzaman. (2000) Perspectives on Flood 1998. Dhaka: The University Press.

Ahmad, Razia (1983) Financing the Rural Poor. Dhaka University Press.

Ahmed, A., M. Alam, amnd A. Rahman (1999) Adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh: future outlook. In: Huq S, Karim Z, Asaduzzu-man M, Mahtab F (eds) Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change for Bangladesh. Kluwer: New York.

Ahmed, A.K. and E.H. Chowdhury (2006) Study on livelihood systems assessment, vulnerable groups profiling and livelihood adaptation to climate hazard and long term climate change in drought prone areas of NW Bangladesh, Final report. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Department of Agricultural Extension, Dhaka, Bangladesh, pp 64-104.

Ahmed, Imtiaz, ed. (2000) Living with Floods: An Exercise in Alternatives. Dhaka: University Press Ltd.

Ahmed, K. Iftekhar (2005) Handbook on Design and Construction of Housing for Flood-Prone Rural Areas of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in partnership with Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Center ... [et al].

Ahmed, Khan Kamal U. and John B. Hambrey (2005) Studies on the fish catch efficiency of different types of fishing gear in Kaptai Reservoir, Bangladesh. Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management 10(4):221-34.

Ahmed, Mohiuddin and Andrew Jenkins (1988) Traditional Land-grabbing and Settlement Patterns in the South Eastern Delta. Paper presented at the International Symposium on the Impacts of Riverbank Erosion, Flood Hazard and Population Displacement. Dhaka (April), 30pp.

Ahmed, R. and M.S. Naher (1986) Changing Marriage Transactions and the Rise of the Demand System in Bangladesh. Journal of Social Studies 33:71-107.

Ahmed, R. and M.S. Naher (1987) Brides and the Demand System in Bangladesh. Dhaka: Centre for Social Studies.

Ahmed, Rahnuma (1985) Women’s Movement in Bangladesh and the Left’s Understanding of the Women Question. Journal of Social Studies, No. 30.

Ahmed, Syed I. (1999) The Dhakaites: Battling the Deluge. Pp. 25-28 In Living With Floods: An Exercise in Alternatives, edited by Imtiaz Ahmed. Dhaka: University Press.

Ahmed, Syed Masud (2009) Capability Development among the Ultra-poor in Bangladesh: A Case Study. J Health Popul Nutr 27(4):528-535.

Ahmed, Syed Masud, Hasan Shareef Ahmed and BRAC (1999) Experiences of Deluge: Flood 1998. Dhaka: Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC.

Ahmed, Syed Masud, Max Petzold, Zarina Nahar Kabir and Goran Tomson (2006) Targeted intervention for the ultra poor in rural Bangladesh: Does it make any difference in their health-seeking behaviour? Social Science and Medicine 63(11):2899-911.

Ahsan, Kamrul (2003) River Erosion and Consequences to the Poor: Echo from Grass Root. Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD).

Akand, Md. M. Kamal (2005). Cultural Adoption of the Ethnic Migration to an Urban Setting: An Anthropological Study of Rajshahi City in Bangladesh. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Rajshahi.

Akhter, Farida (1992) Women Are Not Only Victims. Pp. 59-66 In From Crisis to Development: Coping With Disasters in Bangladesh, edited by Hameeda Hossain, Cole P. Dodge and F. H. Abed. Dhaka: University Press.

Akhter, Farida and Fazila Banu Lily (1984) Women’s Role in Livestock Production in Bangladesh: An Empirical Investigation. Dhaka: Bangldesh Agricultural Research Council.

Akhter, Golam Morshed and Nasimul Gani (1988) Riverbank Erosion Impact Study: Response Strategies to the Problem of Landlessness, Rural Impoverisation and Marginalisation. Paper presented at the International Symposium on the Impacts of Riverbank Erosion, Flood Hazards, and Population Displacement, Dhaka. April, 36pp.

Akhter, S. (2010) Coping with climate change by using indigenous knowledge of ethnic communities: a case study from in and around Lawachara National Park of Bangladesh. M.Sc. dissertation, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet

Akter, Tahera (2009) Climate Change and Flow of Environmental Displacement in Bangladesh. Unnayan Onneshan-The Innovators, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 18 pp.

Alam, M, R. Koudstaal (2000) Riverine chars in Bangladesh environmental dynamics and management issues. In Environmental and GIS Support for Water Sector Planning. Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1-36

Alam, M. K. and H. L. Fontijn (2006) Protection works against wave erosion in haor areas: design manual for placed-block revetments, wave protection in haor areas. Dhaka: BUET-DUT Linkage Project.

Alam, M. and M.D.G. Rabbani (2007) Vulnerabilities and responses to climate change for Dhaka. Environment and Urbanization 19(1):81-97.

Alam, Nurul, Hafizur Rahman Chowdhury, Monirul Alam Bhuiyan and Peter Kim Streatfield (2010) Causes of Death of Adults and Elderly and Healthcare-seeking before Death in Rural Bangladesh. Journal of Health Population and Nutrition 28(5):520-28.

Alam, S. and N. Martin (1984) Limiting the Women’s Issue in Bangladesh. The Western and Bangladesh Legacy, South Asian Bulletin 4(2):1-10.

Alam, S. M. Nurul (1990) Perceptions of Flood Among Bangladeshi Villagers. Disasters 14(4): 354-357.

Alam, S. M. Nurul (1994) Social Science Literature on Natural Disaster in Bangladesh. A Source Book. Pact Bangladesh/PRIP, Dhaka.

Alam, S.M. Nurul (1989) A Study of Flood Perception in some Selected Villages of Bangladesh. A Consultancy Report Prepared for War on Want. Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University. 62pp.

Alam, S.M. Nurul (1989) Socioeconomic and Political Dynamics of Char Land Settlement and Its Implications for Poverty. paper presented at the UNDP/UNFPA seminar on People and Environment in Bangladesh: Interdependence of Demographic Forces, Natural Resources and Deterioration in Environmental Conditions. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Alam, S.M. Nurul (1990) Annotation of Social Science Literature on Natural Disasters in Bangladesh. Produced by PACT Bangladesh/PRIP in collaboration with ADAB.

Alam, Sarfaraz (2003) Environmentally induced migration from Bangladesh to India. Strategic Analysis 27(3):422-38.

Alamgir, Mohiuddin (1980) Famine in South Asia: Political Economy of Mass Starvation in Bangladesh. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain.

Ali, A. (1999) Climate change impacts and adaptation assessment in Bangladesh. Climate Research 12:109-116.

Ali, Fuad Mukkarram Munawwar (2009) Community and institutional adaptation to riverbank erosion along the Jamuna river, Bangladesh. Ph.D. dissertation, King's College, London Department of Geography.

Ali, Liakath (2002) An Integrated Approach for the Improvement of Flood Control and Drainage Schemes in the Coastal Belt of Bangladesh: Taylor and Francis.

Ali, S.M. (1980) Administration of char land in Bangladesh. Asian Affairs 2(2):295-303

Ali, Shawkat (1981) Land Reform Measures and Their Implementation in Bangladesh. In Muhiddin K. Alamgir, ed. Land Reform in Bangladesh. Dhaka: Centre for Social Studies, pp. 141-194.

Alvi, Eskander and Seife Dendir (2011) Weathering the Storms: Credit Receipt and Child Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Floods (1998) in Bangladesh. World Development 39(8):1398-409.

Amin, A.T.M.N. (1988) Settlement Strategy for Riverbank Erosion Displacees in Bangladesh: A Human Resource Development Approach. Paper presented at the International Symposium on the Impacts of Riverbank Erosion, Flood Hazards, and Population Displacement. Dhaka. April.

Amin, A.T.M.N. (1991) Settlement Strategy for Riverbank Erosion Displacees in Bangladesh: A Human Resources Development Approach. In Riverbank Erosion, Flood and Population Displacement in Bangladesh. K.M. Elahi, K.S. Ahmed and M. Mafizuddin (eds.) Riverbank Erosion Impact Study, Jahangir Nagar University, Dhaka, pp. 13-42.

Amin, Md. Nurul (1989) Health and Nutrition. Paper presented at the seminar on Nutrition: Situation in Bangladesh organized by BRAC Briefing Centre on 3 October.

Anam, Shaheen (1999) Women Coping With Floods. Pp. 29-31 In Living With Floods: An Exercise in Alternatives, edited by Itmiaz Ahmed. Dhaka: University Press.

Anik, Sawon Istiak and Mohammed Abu Sayed Arfin Khan (2012) Climate change adaptation through local knowledge in the north eastern region of Bangladesh. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 18 pp. in press.

ANON (1990) Flood control in Bangladesh: a Plan for Action. World Bank Technical Paper v 119, 92 pp.

Appadurai, Arjun (1984) How Moral is South Asia’s Economy: A Review Article. Journal of Asian Studies 43(3):481-97.

Appadurai, Arjun (1989) Transformations in the culture of agriculture. In Contemporary Indian tradition: voices on culture, nature, and the challenge of change (ed.) C. Borden. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Appadurai, Arjun (1990) Technology and the reproduction of values in rural western India. In Dominating knowledge: development, culture and resistance (eds.) F. Marglin and S. Marglin. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Arefeen, H. (1982) Muslim Stratification Patterns in Bangladesh: An Attempt to Build a Theory. Journal of Social Studies 1216:52-74.

Arefeen, H. (1982) Some Aspects of Marriage Practices among the Muslims of Bangladesh. Journal of Social Studies 29:68-80.

Arefeen, H. (1986) Changing Agrarian Structure in Bangladesh: Shimulia, a Study of a Periurban Village. Dhaka Centre for Social Studies.

Arens, Jenneke and Jos van Beurden (1977) Jhagrapur: Poor Peasants and Women in a Village in Bangladesh. New Delhi: Orient Longman Limited.

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Ashley, S., K. Kar K. A. Hossain and N. Shibabrata (2000) The Chars Livelihood Assistance Scoping Study. Final report prepared for the Department of International Development (DFID)

Ashworth, Philip J., James L. Best, Julie E. Roden, Charles S. Bristow and Gerrit J. Klaassen (2000) Morphological evolution and dynamics of a large, sand braid-bar, Jamuna River, Bangladesh. Sedimentology 47(3):533-55.

Asian Development Bank (2002) Jamuna-Meghna River Erosion Mitigation Project in the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Manila, Philippines: Asian Development Bank.

Asian Development Bank (2002) Report and Recommendation of the President to the Board Of Directors on a Proposed Loan to the People's Republic of Bangladesh for the Jamuna-Meghna River Erosion Mitigation Project. Manila: Asian Development Bank.

Asian Development Bank (2005) Grant assistance, People’s Republic of Bangladesh: social development for erosion-affected poor in the Jamuna-Meghna floodplains (financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction). Manila: Asian Development Bank.

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