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Flooding in Bangladesh. Today we are going to build a case study of flooding in Bangladesh. This will contrast with the MEDC case study of Boscastle that we have already studied. Starter: Sketch the map below and label the countries:. China India Nepal Bangladesh Pakistan Bhutan Burma.

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Flooding in Bangladesh


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Flooding in Bangladesh

Today we are going to build a case study of flooding in Bangladesh. This will contrast with the MEDC case study of Boscastle that we have already studied.

Starter: Sketch the map below and label the countries:

China

India

Nepal

Bangladesh

Pakistan

Bhutan

Burma

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Source: BBC

Flooding in Bangladesh

Bangladesh also suffers regularly from substantial flooding caused by monsoon rains and melting snows from the Himalayas.Source: World Infozone.com

Bangladesh is a delta. The low level of the delta land means that the country is prone to flooding. 75% of Bangladesh is at or below just 10 metres in height.

Why does Bangladesh flood?

Split answers into Physical and Human causes.

Freshwater floods occur when a watershed receives so much water that it cannot drain into the soil quickly enough to take the water away. Bangladesh has three mighty rivers, the Ganges, the Jamuna and the Meghna.

Most floods follow heavy rain or melting snow, frozen ground and already high river levels. The floods in Bangladesh begin through a combination of heavy monsoon rains flooding the rivers and abnormally high tides in the Bay of Bengal preventing floodwater from running off the land and into the sea.

The likelihood of flooding can be increased by human activities too, such as too many trees being cut down, stripping the land bare of the vital top soil which slows and drains water. Also, In built-up areas with a lot of concrete roads and houses, there are fewer places for water to go and less soil for water to drain into. So planners in cities prone to flooding have to develop ways of channelling water to cope with potential floods.

Source: Global Express.org

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Flooding in Bangladesh

Where does the flooding occur?

Identify specific regions that are worst hit.

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Flooding in Bangladesh

What are the effects of the floods?

Split answers into positive and negative.

The deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers in South Asia flood on a seasonal basis. The flooding keeps the soil fertile because the rivers deposit silt which forms fertile soil each year. Partly because of the flooding, it is one of the most densely populated areas of the world with millions of people in Nepal, Northern India and Bangladesh depending on the rivers and fertile soils for their livelihoods. Tear Fund UK

Bangladesh FloodsMore than 450 people have died and more than 30 million people in Bangladesh are affected by the recent floods. Of the country's 64 districts, 43 are affected by the rising waters. Around 40 per cent of the county's capital, Dhaka, is covered in water and Government figures report more than 150,000 homes have been destroyed and more than half a million acres of crops destroyed.Floodwaters place the population at risk from a range of water-borne diseases, including diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera. Outbreaks of diarrhoea have already been reported, especially in the capital, where sewers mix with floodwater and water supplies are contaminated.Although Bangladesh is used to floods, this year levels and coverage has been far worse than normal and the monsoon season has only just started.

World Vision UK

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Flooding in Bangladesh

How have decision makers respond to the flooding?

The Flood Action Plan (FAP) was set up in 1990 supported by several wealthy countries and the World Bank. Its aim was to reduce the impact of the floods that occurred annually in Bangladesh. The FAP’s objectives were to set up regional planning groups to study and monitor local river processes, followed by the construction of huge embankments to protect the land, initially from river flooding. It was intended to construct coastal embankments to protect from storm surges brought by cyclones but these have not been completed. As a result the FAP is not considered to have been a complete success. Over 3 million people have been killed by coastal flooding in the last 30 years.

The first findings of the FAP in 1995 stated that, while the flood protection scheme was economically desirable for urban areas, it was not a good idea in rural areas, which are dependent upon fishing and farming.

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Flooding in Bangladesh

What issues are faced in implementing strategies in countries like Bangladesh?

Whilst the embankments have been strengthened, increased in height and extended in many places, the FAP has come across several problems, such as:

  • The Bangladeshi Government cannot afford the high maintenance costs of the scheme
  • The embankments are at risk of erosion from the rivers
  • River channelisation by FAP embankments has increased the risk of flood damage for downstream areas
  • An estimated 8 million people were forced to move due to the FAP. These were people who relied on farming and fishing to support themselves.
  • Today, smaller, more sustainable projects tend to be favoured such as flood embankments to protect important urban areas (like Dhaka), improved forecasting and early warning systems and the building of flood shelters (areas of raised land to provide a save haven for people in times of flood).
          • BBC Bitesize