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Resilience to flash floods in wetland communities of northeastern Bangladesh

Kamal, ASMM; Shamsudduha, M; Ahmed, B; Hassan, SMK; Islam, MS; Kelman, I; Fordham, M; (2018) Resilience to flash floods in wetland communities of northeastern Bangladesh. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction , 31 pp. 478-488. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.06.011. Green open access

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Abstract

Globally, a number of catastrophic hydrometeorological hazards occurred in 2017 among which the monsoon floods in South Asia was particularly disastrous, killing nearly 1200 people in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The wetland region (Haor) of northeastern (NE) Bangladesh was severely affected by flash floods early in 2017, affecting nearly 1 million households and damaging US $450 million worth of rice crops. This study investigates how the NE Bangladesh experienced the 2017 flash floods, and to what degree the wetland communities are vulnerable and resilience to flash floods. Focus group discussion, key informant interviews, and household questionnaire surveys (n = 80) were applied in the study area of Sunamganj district. Results from statistical analyses and regression modelling reveal that poor people are particularly vulnerable to floods but they are also more adaptive and thus resilient; middle-income households are vulnerable as they are hesitant to take up any jobs and accept flood relief; and rich households, despite being less adaptive, are able to recover from flood disasters because of wealth. This study reveals that resilience also stems from deep religious faith in the Haor inhabitants that supports communities to move on by accepting that most natural calamities such as flash floods are divine tests. This study also finds that women are particularly vulnerable and less resilient as they are not normally allowed to work outside of their homes and beyond the Haor communities due to cultural and religious reasons.

Type: Article
Title: Resilience to flash floods in wetland communities of northeastern Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.06.011
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.06.011
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Flash flooding, Resilience, Vulnerability, Livelihoods, Haor region, Bangladesh
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051144
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