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ED: A predictable and preventable disaster

  • Published at 03:08 am August 7th, 2021
Flood
DHAKA TRIBUNE

It is about time that such predictable disasters were brought to an end

Beth Tellman, a human-environmental geographer at the University of Arizona, put it succinctly: “People die and lose their homes and livelihood.”

According to a study published by Tellman and her colleagues in the British Journal Nature, between 2000 and 2015, the number of people who have become exposed to flood-affected areas in Bangladesh has increased by 14.3 million, with the worldwide total in the same period increasing by 86 million people.

This means that more than 14 million Bangladeshis now reside in areas vulnerable to climate-induced floods which, when they do occur, will potentially destroy their possessions, their homes, and their livelihoods, leaving them literally stranded in the rising waters of Bangladesh’s rivers.

Most of these flood events have been caused by excessive rainfall, storm surges, and dam breaks, forcing river water levels to rise and inundating adjacent regions in water, causing much grief to hardworking Bangladeshis who can do nothing but watch as their possessions and only sources of income wash away.

As a nation on the forefront in the fight against climate change, what is even more tragic is that we have yet to put in place measures which would put a stop to incidences of such disastrous loss of life and livelihood.

While authorities do boast measures taken to prepare for potential floods, every year, their efforts prove ineffective to the extent required, as stories of displaced families and submerged farms flood our headlines.

Research has shown that there are tremendous benefits to building flood prevention measures and integrating it as part of our urban and rural planning, with every unit of investment saving six times the amount.

It is about time that such predictable disasters were brought to an end: Authorities would do well to invest in training, research, equipment, and infrastructure necessary so that not a single individual’s life is destroyed due to flooding.         

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