Bangladesh floods

Causes, management and effects of the floods in Bangladesh.

There are floods almost every year. These notes are general and do not refer to any specific year.

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  • Created by: Fern
  • Created on: 13-06-10 15:38
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Physical causes
· Most of the country is one massive floodplain and delta of three rivers: Ganges,
Brahmaputra and Meghna
· The peak discharge of these rivers has been known to coincide
· 70% of the country is less than 1m above sea level
· 10% of the country is lakes/rivers
· The snow in the Himalayas melts in late spring and early summer
· Monsoon climate
· Bangladesh is affected by cyclones, which bring heavy rain and coastal flooding
· The rivers are silted up due to soil erosion, which raises the riverbed, reducing capacity and
therefore making the river more likely to flood
· After heavy rain, the ground is saturated, which increases runoff
Human causes
· Deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas causes increased runoff
· Urbanisation of floodplain
· Dams in India increase sedimentation in Bangladesh
· Global warming: rising sea levels, increased snow melt and increased rainfall
· Poorly maintained levees collapse in times of high discharge
· Bangladesh is in debt and cannot pay for flood defences
· Corruption removes money from flood defence schemes (and from aid after the floods)
· People killed
· Homes destroyed people made homeless
· Shortage of drinking water
· Disease
· Rice, livestock, wheat and potato seeds destroyed
· Massive cost increased individual and national debt
· Land made more fertile due to silt
· Roads destroyed
· Factories closed due to damage and loss of raw materials unemployment
· Schools destroyed negative impact on education
· Hard for families to recorder: low incomes, few savings, little insurance
Short-term management
· Boats to rescue people
· Emergency supplies:
Food for livestock
· International aid received
· Government handed out free seeds to farmers
Long-term management
· 1989: government becgan working with international agencies to produce Flood Action Plan
· Aid

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Rebuilding/repairing houses and infrastructure
· Contruction:
Escape systems
Flood shelters
Floodwater storage
· Dredging
· Plant trees (afforestation)
· Educate people about what to do in the event of a flood
· Build roads on higher ground so they aren't affected by floods
· Improved warning and forecast systems…read more


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