Mazeda Begum

Picture: Mazeda Begum, 35, from northern Bangladesh, stands in front of her home on a raised flood-protection embankment. She sent her nineyear old daughter to the capital Dhaka to work as a servant, as the family could not afford to feed her after they lost their home and land six years ago because of river erosion.

Christian Aid have just published their climate report and it makes grim reading (these reports usually do). The world is to expect floods, pestilence, famine and war arising out of climate change. They have a case study on Bangladesh called “Bangladesh: erosion and flood.” Yes the doom merchants are banging away there also with dire predictions for the coming century. And as usual I try to ignore some of the wild conjecture though thankfully the report does make clear in several places that there are differing opinions, and that the issues are complex. A look at some of the social outcomes described in the report make believable and worrying reading: that Bangladesh is to expect migration inland in staggeringly high numbers from coastal to non-coastal issues (where land is scarce and population density high); that increasing salinization is forcing people off the land and destituting them; that flood victims get some support from government but people affected by river erosion get little or nothing even if they lose their home and land/livelihood.

Download the Report HERE (pdf file).