Assignment on Disasters and Vulnerability of Children and Women

Bangladesh is a low lying deltaic country In South Asia formed by the Ganges, The Brahmaputra and the Meghna rivers. It is a land of rivers, more than 310 rivers and tributaries are blowing forms this land. Diversified cultural heritage, archeological sites and the natural beauty of the country have made this land more attractive. The country has the world’s longest unbroken sandy beach of 120 km sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. Since the independence, Bangladesh has achieved a lot in its various sectors.
But the geographical location, land characteristics, multiplicity of natural hazards of rivers and monsoon climate render Bangladesh highly vulnerable to natural hazards. The coastal morphology of our country influences the impact on the area. Especially in the south western area, natural hazards increase the vulnerability of the coastal dwellers and slow down the process of social and economic developments.

Natural and human induced hazards, such as floods, cyclones, droughts, tidal surges, tornadoes, earthquakes, river bank erosions, fires, infrastructure collapse, high arsenic contents, fall of water level, water logging, salinity intrusion, epidemic and various forms of pollution etc are frequently occurring and hampering human security. Climate change adds a new dimension to community risk and vulnerability. People specially the children and women are the most victims of these hazards because of their position and body structures.

Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country to natural and manmade disasters. It has a large population with a small territory. Fifty percent of the people of this country are women. Demographers termed country’s current population as “young” means most of the people are at the young age – children, youth or below 45 years. This is an opportunity for our country as well as a responsibility in a sense that we have to save them from all possible hazards and provide them all necessaries.

Disaster is any event, typically occurring suddenly, that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and health services and which exceeds the capacity of the affected community on a scale sufficient to require outside assistance (Landesman, 2001). A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of the society causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the ability of affected society to cope using its own resources (UNDP). Disaster is a severe, relatively sudden and unexpected disruption of normal structural arrangements within a social system over which the system has no firm control (Barton, 1974).

Key elements of disaster are,
  • Causes large scale destruction 
  •  Losses of lives and properties 
  • Produces ecological destruction 
  • Impacts vulnerable communities 
  • Local resources and coping ability fails and Requires outside assistance.