Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The regular and severe natural hazards that Bangladesh already suffers from – tropical cyclones, river erosion, flood, landslides and drought – are all set to increase in intensity and frequency as a result of climate change. Sea level rise will increasingly inundate coastal land in Bangladesh and dramatic coastal and river erosion will destroy lands and homes. These and the many other adverse effects of climate change will severely impact the economy and development of the country. One of the most dramatic impacts will be the forced movement of people throughout Bangladesh as a result of losing their homes, lands, property and livelihoods to the effects of climate change.

While it is impossible to predict completely accurate figures of how many people will be displaced by climate change, the best current estimates state that sea level rise alone will displace 18 million Bangladeshis within the next 40 years. The vast majority of these people will be displaced within Bangladesh – not across international borders – presenting the Government with enormous challenges, particularly when it comes to finding places to live and work for those displaced.

A flood affected woman on a raft searches for somewhere dry to take shelter.

Costal people gather to collect drinking water from a costly Reverse-Osmosis Plant set up by a local NGO at Burigoalini village in Satkhira. Due to sea-level rising resulting from climate change, limited sweet water sources of the coastal area have widely been contaminated with saline water, thus compels the distant inhabitants concentrating on such limited drinking water-sources.

Flood affected villagers gather to collected reliefs.

An elderly woman and her son showing fervidity to the local government to get relief in Islampur, Jamalpur.

Hamida Begum is a flood victim, lost her house and cattle in the floodwater, taking shelter on a highland road at Guthail, Jamalpur. According to the Bangladesh Disaster Management Bureau around 1.5 million people have been affected by this year flood. Rivers in the north started to rise in early July and by the 20th of July nearly all of them started to flow over the danger level. It caused floods in 6 districts, namely, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Sunamganj initially and inundated crop fields and dwelling areas, washed away standing crops, houses and household’s assets, livestock and displaced the affected people.Bangladesh is one of the most climate change-vulnerable and disaster-prone countries. The rivers of this country are facing tremendous environmental anomalies. They overflow during the rainy season but shrink in other seasons. Floods in our country are directly or indirectly related to sub-Himalayan countries like India, Bhutan, and Nepal. An understanding should be made to protect the eco-system in the regions to minimize the risks of flash floods, and to share the water resources as per international laws.

A 15 years old mother Rani Begum dangles her sleeping daughter at Gabura village in Satkhira, a natural disaster prone area. Rani married while her age was only 12. Gabura, Satkhira, BangladeshNatural disasters resulted by climate change that destroy earning sources and limit economic solvency compel the parents to arrange marriage for their premature girls. According to UNICEF, Bangladesh has the fourth highest rate of child marriage in the world where 29 per cent of girls married before the age of 15 and 65 per cent married before the age of 18.

A family on a raft approaches a boat at flood affected area in Jamalpur. According to the Bangladesh Disaster Management Bureau around 1.5 million people have been affected by this year flood. Rivers in the north started to rise in early July and by the 20th of July nearly all of them started to flow over the danger level. It caused floods in 6 districts, namely, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj and Sunamganj initially and inundated crop fields and dwelling areas, washed away standing crops, houses and household’s assets, livestock and displaced the affected people.Bangladesh is one of the most climate change-vulnerable and disaster-prone countries. The rivers of this country are facing tremendous environmental anomalies. They overflow during the rainy season but shrink in other seasons. Floods in our country are directly or indirectly related to sub-Himalayan countries like India, Bhutan, and Nepal. An understanding should be made to protect the eco-system in the regions to minimize the risks of flash floods, and to share the water resources as per international laws.

Rani, 9, collects rainwater for drinking. Rainwater is the main source of drinking water in the village of Shyamnagar.

Majeda Banu (50) going back home after catching fish with a net on August 26, 2015. Thousands of men and women go into the Sundarbans forest in Southern Bangladesh every day to gather honey, collect firewood, or catch fish, crabs and putting themselves at great risk for a tiger attack.

Two homeless people wrapped with a plastic sheet against raindrops, sleeping over a footbridge in Dhaka. Most of the floating people in towns have been displaced from their ancient homes after natural disasters like flood, cyclone and river erosion.
Md. Abdullah, 15, suffers from diarrhoea. Waterborne diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery are becoming more and more common in Satkhira

Children are playing cricket in a waterlogged open space on 28 August 2015 in Gabura Union, Satkhira, Bangladesh.

A stream of villagers are on their way to Dhaka, in search of better living conditions. Morrelganj, Bagerhat.

Fishermen at work in the river of Patharghata in Barguna
Probal Rashid

About Probal Rashid

Probal Rashid is a documentary photographer and photojournalist working in Bangladesh, represented by Zuma Press, USA. He has studied a Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism through a scholarship program of World Press Photo at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism (ACFJ) at Ateneo De Manila University in the Philippines. He also holds an MBA. His works have been published in many national and international newspapers and magazines such as The National Geographic, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, GEO, New York Post, Days Japan, Paris Match, The Wall Street Journal, Stern, RVA, The Telegraph, Focus magazine and The Guardian. Moreover, his photographs have been exhibited in Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, UK, USA and some of his works selected by the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts for their permanent collection. Probal is the recipient of numerous awards for his work including the Pictures Of the Year International (POYi), Days Japan Photojournalism Award, China International Press Photo Award (CHIPP), NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Awards, Yonhap International Press Photo Awards, KL International Photo award, FCCT/OnAsia Photojournalism, “Zoom-in on Poverty” Global Photo Award, CGAP microfinance photo award, WPGA Annual Pollux Awards in U.K, International Year of Biodiversity Award and the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest.