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Community Vulnerability to Landslides in Bangladesh

Ahmed, Bayes; (2017) Community Vulnerability to Landslides in Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Landslides are a common hazard in the Chittagong Hill Districts (CHD) of Bangladesh. The communities that live on dangerous hill slopes in CHD repeatedly experience landslide hazards during the monsoon season, with casualties, economic losses and property damage. Although landslides are hazard events triggered by a variety of environmental phenomena, vulnerability emerging from a social system is predominantly responsible for disasters. With this background, this study develops an understanding of the root-causes of community vulnerability to landslides in the CHD. To begin, two distinct groups of communities were identified, namely the urbanized hill communities and the indigenous hill communities. Seven urbanized and four indigenous communities were selected and compared by developing and applying mixed methods. Quantitative information from household-level questionnaires was associated with qualitative maps and diagrams from participatory rural appraisal surveys. A convergent parallel design and index based weighted average decision support model was applied, covering community-level vulnerability indicators for physical, social, economic, ecological, institutional and cultural aspects. The urbanized hill communities were found to be highly vulnerable to landslides, as they are attracted by city pull factors, deprived of social justice and involved in indiscriminate hill cutting for developing settlements. They fail to incorporate indigenous knowledge and are culturally less aware of how to deal with hazard extremes in the hilly environment. In contrast, the indigenous communities have a distinctive history and culture, inherited lifestyle, customs, beliefs and values, traditional housing pattern, land tenure and ownership, administrative system, and agricultural practice as a major livelihood. These unique characteristics are facilitating the indigenous communities to address the different dimensions of community vulnerability to landslides.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Community Vulnerability to Landslides in Bangladesh
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Keywords: Landslides, Vulnerability
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572567
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