Thesis on Impact on Water logging in south-west Bangladesh

Bangladesh experienced a steady rise in GDP growth during the last five years (2003-2007) when it grew at an average annual rate of more than 6 percent compared with 5 percent over the previous five years. Higher growth, together with a fall in population growth to less than 1.5 percent in recent years, led to a rapid growth in per capita GDP (Bangladesh Bank, 2008:1). Although natural disasters have become very common to Bangladesh. Bangladesh as a developing country can not avoid natural disaster at any rate.

Among developing counties, Bangladesh suffers from more than its fair share of natural disasters and these have a significant influence on rural livelihoods (Islam, 2001:131). Most often natural disasters are treated as the out comes of climate change. The global scientific communities have observed that the global climate is changing. Global warming is responsible for this.

Bangladesh is known as one of the most vulnerable countries under climate change. A number of major studies in the past investigated the causes of vulnerability of Bangladesh due to climate change (Huq et al.,1998; Warrick and Ahmed, 1996, ADB, 1994). As elsewhere in the world, the number of occurrences of disastrous events over the past decade or so has indeed increased dramatically in the loy lying delta, which not only has negated her development strides, but also her relentless efforts to improve quality of lives of millions of her poverty ridden citizens. Historically the country has been subject to a variety of water-related hazards, mostly in the from of flood, cyclonic storm surge, riverbank erosion, drought, and salinity (Ahmed and Mirza, 2000; Ali, 1999; Karim et al, 1990 b). A large number of recent analyses suggest that such hydrological hazardous events are likely to be aggravated due to climate change (Huq et al., 1996; Asaduzzaman et al., 1997; Mirza, 1997; Ahmed, 2005).

Although Bangladesh’s high vulnerability to frequently occurring hazards is known worldwide, a lesser known new phenomenon-Waterlogging- has been disrupting livelihoods of about one million people during the past two decades (Islam et al., 2004; Ahmed et al., 2007 a). The phenomenon involves deterioration of drainage condition in a number of southern coastal rivers leading to temporary to permanent inundation of floodplains along those rivers, causing enormous difficulties towards maintaining livelihoods and disrupting land-based productive system including crop agriculture (CEGIS, 1998; Rahman, 1995). The problem has become severe in the southwestern parts of Bangladesh, especially along the Kabadak river system covering parts of Jessore, Khulna and Satkhira districts. Waterlogging is also becoming an issue in central southern Noakhali district, where gradual chocking of the Noakhali rivulet (i.e., Khal) has given rise to temporary water logging every year (Neelormi, 2005).

Since a large majority of the rural Bangladeshis is dependent on crop agriculture for subsistence, the vulnerability of land year-round and/or for a major part of a growing season due to standing water put agriculture based livelihood of people in extreme hardship (Ahmed et al. 2007 a). Scientists suggest that climate change would aggravate waterlogging condition in both the areas of coastal Bangladesh (Ahmed et al., 2007a).

Waterlogging in South-Western Bangladesh affects adversely on social, economic, occupational, cultural, political, and religious condition. No fruitful initiatives are being taken to combat waterlogging. So people of the region are becoming the permanent victim of it.