Flooding Case Study: Bangladesh

Causes and Impacts of the floods in Bangladesh (LEDC). 

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  • Created by: Jali
  • Created on: 19-02-12 10:25

Background Information


  • Many parts of South Asia flood anually due to monsoon climate (80% of rain in 4 months)
  •  Bangladesh is a lowlying country – 90% less than 10m below sea level
  • 10% of the land is covered in water  (bodies of water e.g. lakes, swamps, etc)
  •  Snowmelt from the Himalayas in the late summer increases discharge
  • July & August of 2007 had particularly severe floods 
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Physical causes

  • Monsoon came suddenly after a period of dry weather
  • Heavy rainfall - Assam had a record 169.5mm in 24hrs on 22nd of July (900mm in total for July)
  • Soil was saturated - increasing surface runoff and discharge 
  • Peak discharge of two major rivers - River Ganges and Brahmaputra - combined which increased the river's discharge downstream 
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Human Causes

  • Deforestation in Nepal and the Himalayas - less interception  and more discharge
  • Urbanisation - due to migration - increased the number of impermeable surfaces and surface runoff increased 
  • Collapse of old earth dams in Madhya Pradesh, India, caused furthur flooding 
  • LEDC therefore it could not afford warning or prediction systems
  • Corruption - aid money diverted away from those that really needed it
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Social Impacts

  • Over 200 people died - not many people wanted to evacuate their farms, children drowned as they cold not swim & poor transport links meant that evacuation was slow
  • Wells became polluted with sewage - over 100 000 people caught water bourne diseases 
  • 25 million homeless
  • 112 000 houses destroyed in India
  • 4000 schools affected and 44 destroyed - children lost out on education
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Economic Impacts

  • Cost = USD$ 1 billion 
  • Factories closed around Dhaka & loss of resources - the poorest people became unemployed
  • Widespread loss of livestock - 80% of the country relies on agriculture
  • 550 000 hectares of land could not be planted with rice - world prices of basmati rice rose over 10%
  • 10 000km of roads destroyed
  • Debt increased both for individuals and for the country 
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Environmental Impacts

  • Deposited fertile silt (alluvium) on the flood plain
  • Rivers polluted with sewage 
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perfect thankyou you helped so much!

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