Bangladesh flooding case study

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  • Created by: Sneha
  • Created on: 17-03-13 10:28


Bangladesh is a poor country in Asia. In 2004, floods built up until 60% of Bangladesh was covered in water with 40% of the capital city covered. Most of the country is flat and the River Ganges and Brahmaputra flow through it. The flooding occurs every year, however is leaves a fertile soil that is good for farming. Flooding is a problem when it gets severe. 

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900mm of rain fell in July. This is the heaviest rainfall for 50 years and it was due to the monsoon. This meant that the soils became saturated so this increased surface run off into rivers. 

Melting snow from the Himalayas increased the amount of discharge both of the rivers had. 


Deforestation in the Himalayas due to increased population in Nepal (fuel and farmland). 

Additional surface run off carries silt with it and deposits this in the river. This means the river can carry less water so more likely to overflow. 

Climate change is causing glaciers in the himalayas to melt and therefore increasing the amount of surface run off going into the rivers. 

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Primary Effects

750 people killed - children vulnerable due to drowning and snake bites

Houses were flooded - 30 million were made homeless

44 schools and many hospitals destroyed

People lost businesses and their jobs

Dhaka underwater - roads and bridges under water too. - 10, 000km destroyed

Crops and livestock destroyed - food supply and cash crops destroyed

River polluted with rubbish and dead bodies. 

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Secondary Effects

Families damaged by losses of family members

People living on streets or in emergency camps set up by NGOs

1 million+ people suffered from malnutrition

People reliant on food aid

Contaminated water - Dhaka: 100,000 cases of cholera

Education suffered 

Rebuilding and clean up estimated at $3 billion

Loss of income

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Immediate Responses

Families climbed onto roofs - so did snakes

Evacuation couldn't happen in all areas due to blocked up roads and no control from the government. This means that people couldn't get out which lead to deaths. 

International aid - Oxfam gave food, shelter, medical care and rescue teams and boats. 

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Long Term Responses

Aid from goverments and NGOs was used to help rebuilding of homes

Houses built on stilts 

Children taught how to swim

Communities aware of what to do when flooding occurs 

Schools and medical centres built 

Better flood warning systems 

River channels dredged so more discharge able to be held in the river 

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