Challenges for the planet - Bangladesh case study

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Challenges for the planet ­ Case Study
Bangladesh Flooding ­ 1998
Causes:
Monsoon climate ­ most places receive between 1800 and
2600 mm of rain a year. 80% of the total is concentrated
between 4 or 5 months.
Deforestation in Nepal and Himalayas increases runoff.
Deposition of silt which blocks the main channel and raises
the river bed.
Human mismanagement ­ building on flood plains.
High temperatures increase the melting of snow and
glaciers in the Himalayas.
Poorly maintained embankments (levees) may leak and
collapse.
80% of Bangladesh is a huge floodplain. It is low lying, flat
land which floods easily. The water spreads over vast
distances.
Effects:
Water covered almost 70% of the country and affected 2/3
of the population.
The water in Dhaka (capital) was 2 metres deep and
covered ¾ of the city.
Electricity supply was cut off for 3 weeks and there was no
safe drinking water as wells were flooded and water was
polluted.
7 million homes were destroyed and over 25 million people
were made homeless.
The death toll was over 1300 - most deaths were due to
drowning but others died from cholera and other diseases.
There were shortages of food and medicines.
2 million tonnes of rice crops were destroyed.
½ million cattle and poultry were lost.
Damage was estimated at $1.5 billion.

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