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The root causes of landslide vulnerability in Bangladesh

Ahmed, B; (2021) The root causes of landslide vulnerability in Bangladesh. Landslides 10.1007/s10346-020-01606-0. (In press). Green open access

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Communities living in the Chittagong Hill Districts (CHD) of Bangladesh recurrently observe landslide disasters during the monsoon season (June–September). CHD is primarily dominated by three distinct groups of hill communities, namely, urbanised hill (Bengali), indigenous tribal and stateless Rohingya refugees. Landslide vulnerability amongst them is complex and varies between physical, social, economic, environmental, institutional and cultural dimensions. This study aims to understand driving forces of landslide disasters in the region by emphasising human factors. Data from the three contrasting communities were collected through participatory workshops, in-depth interviews and fieldwork observation. The participants were local people and landslide experts who were purposefully selected from five case study communities in the CHD. They ranked different socio-economic problems, identified causes of landslides and proposed landslide mitigation action plans. Results suggest that the urbanised Bengali and Rohingya refugee communities are highly vulnerable to landslides. The urbanised hill communities largely deal with poverty, social injustice, lack of planning regulations and illegal hill cutting issues, whereas the Rohingya refugees’ predominant constraints are linked to the ongoing genocide and state-sponsored violence in Myanmar hindering their sustainable repatriation, and their protracted living conditions in Bangladesh. The indigenous tribal communities are comparatively resilient to landslides due to their unique history, traditional knowledge, cultural heritage and lifestyle. Landslides in the CHD should be characterised as socio-natural hazards since the components of landslide disasters are profoundly intertwined with the culture–conflict–corruption nexus.

Type: Article
Title: The root causes of landslide vulnerability in Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10346-020-01606-0
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10346-020-01606-0
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Landslides, Vulnerability, Culture, Rohingya, Indigenous people, Conflict, 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/10119387
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