Causes, Effects and Responses to the 1998 Floods in Bangladesh.
By: Christina McConney MYP1
What are the Physical Causes of Flooding
The water is able to spread easily due to the fact that Bangladesh is mainly a flat country with 70% of its land being less than 1 meter above sea level and 80% being a flood plain. This topography results in the water being able to spread across large areas of land.
This map shows why the water spreads so far into the country. It is because so much of the land is so close to sea level.
Washout: the topography clearly shows why Bangladesh floods so regularly
What are the Human Causes of Flooding
The increase in population in Bangladesh is one of the human causes of flooding. This increase in population means that more water wells have been dug in the earth and has weaken the soil. This means that the land floods more often.
This graph shows how fast and how much the population grew between 1960 and 2000.
Another impact of the population growth has been the large amount effects of deforestation at the foothills of the Himalayas. The picture above shows how the water level rises when there are less trees. The trees that used to hold back the water have been cut down
Another human impact is the amount of construction.
In this picture taken of the 2004 floods, you can see that the large amount of high buildings constructed so close together does not allow the water to spread and as a result it can only rise up.
- 1,070 people died because they drowned or they caught infectious diseases.
- 70% of the country was flooded
- People were being bitten by snakes because both humans and snakes looked for the same safe dwelling place.
- Crops and animals were dying which left the people with little food.
- 2 thirds of Dhaka (the capital city) was flooded
- 30 million people were left homeless
- Communications became difficult
30 million people were left homeless after the floods
People were being bitten by snakes.
- Lack of basic medical care
- 175 000 cases of serious diarrhoea
- Major food shortage
- No safe drinking water. Water supplies were contaminated by dead bodies of humans and animals. This spread diseases like Cholera and Typhoid.
- Little to no safe dwelling place.
- Decrease in manufacturing
- Difficult communication
The picture on the left is an example of poisoning. This is the after effect of walking around in contaminated water for so long.This particular type is called arsenic poisoning
Shopping became very difficult, almost impossible.
There were major food shortages through out the flooded areas.
175 000 cases of serious diarrhoea broke out and affected children the most.
Positive effects to flooding
- Along the way, the flood water picks up soil which it then spreads over the crops when it floods. This soil is rich in important nutrients which are needed for the people to grow their crops.
- The deposit of silt has also provided the people with more land to live on.
The floods provided more land to live on.
Longer term responses
- Millions of people were poisoned by Arsenic found in the contaminated flood waters. Eight million bore wells were dug and the sub soil water being pumped out showed to be the real culprit of Arsenic poisoning. UNESCO and WHO, learned about this poisoning and, decided to build fresh water wells so that the people won’t have to drink contaminated water. They were able to provide fresh drinking water to at least 80% of the people living there.
- The Bangladesh government was given £ 21 million by the UK government to help repair the damage from the flood.
- Water purification tablets were brought in by WHO ( world health organisation)
Fresh water wells were built.
- International food aid programs were set up through out the flooded areas in Bangladesh.
- The government distributed free seeds to farmers to try and reduce the impact of food shortages. The government also gave 350,000 tones of cereal to feed the people that were affected.
- Volunteers and aid workers, worked to try and repair the damage that was caused by the flood.
- Water purification tablets were brought in by WHO ( world health organisation) after having enough money to get them.
Water purification tablets were brought in to help the affected people.
Shelters were made.
Long term responses
- Picture on slide 2: http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/images/about/p16204.jpg
- Map on slide 3: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/thumb/e/ef/Bangladesh_Sea_Level_Risks.png/300px-Bangladesh_Sea_Level_Risks.png
- Graph on slide 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Bangladesh
- Diagram on slide 5: http://science.jrank.org/article_images/science.jrank.org/deforestation-and-landscape.1.jpg
- Picture on slide 5: http://www.alphabetics.info/international/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/deforestation.gif
- Picture on slide 6: http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/images/BangladeshFlood2004.jpg
- Picture on slide 7: http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/rio_conventions_calendar/2005/image/pjpeg/rio_calendar2005_intro.jpg
- Picture on slide 8: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40425000/jpg/_40425043_floodsbody_afp.jpg
- Picture on slide 8: http://brucekekule.com/wp-content/gallery/the-west/king-cobra1-w.jpg
- Picture on slide 9: http://chandrashekharasandprints.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/poisoning-bangladesh/
- Picture on slide 9: Picture: http://www.all-creatures.org/hope/gw/2004-09-13_Bangladesh_flood.jpg
- Picture on slide 11: http://access.nscpcdn.com/gallery/i/f/floods/lg5.jpg
- Picture on slide 11: http://pakistanisforpeace.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/shahid-khan-flood-victim.jpg
- Picture on slide 12: http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so191/Projects2010/Abena_Dickson/genderinequality%20(3).jpg
- Picture on slide 14: http://www.globalenvision.org/files/bangladesh%20water%20well.jpg
- Picture on slide 16: http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-pumps-water/drinking-water-purification-tablets.jpg
- Picture on slide 16: http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2007/shelter_bangladesh.jpg