Climate migration: A threat looming in Dhaka27 September 2022
Wares Ali Khan :
Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate disasters because of its geographical position. Due to sea-level rise, lack of drinking water, drought-like situations, river erosion, loss of biodiversity, effects of extreme weather-like frequent floods and cyclones, Bangladesh is at high risk of facing climate migration in the greater context.
Excessive emission of carbon, the erratic presence of methane, and other greenhouse gases like Nitrous Oxide, CFC, Ozone, etc.-have been changing the earth's surface intensely hot. The industrially developed nations are mostly responsible for such chronic creation of a greenhouse effect on the earth's atmosphere. Because of inconvenient geo-position, a country like Bangladesh is merely experiencing the impacts of climate adversity enormously.
A study conducted by Action Aid has disclosed recently that by 2050 almost three million people of the country would be forced to migrate if the global community fails to reduce global warming within a rise of two degrees since the pre-industrial period, a goal which was set by the Paris Agreement earlier. It is exigent for our country to bargain with the global leaders on the ground of limiting extra-spell carbon emission. We do not have sufficient backup resources, and technical capacities to combat the impacts of climate change. Our efforts to lessen the magnitude of climate vulnerability with our limited resources will surely go harder in this regard.
As the water level of the Bay of Bengal is in raising-trend over last the couple of years, the intrusion of saltwater and salinity has compelled many of the coastal population to migrate elsewhere considering lives and livelihoods. People of those climatologically threatened and calamities-prone districts, on the whole, migrate to their preferred regions to survive anew. This climate-driven uncertain human flow impacts life and the economy holistically in multiplex modality.
Most of the people living near the sea area depend on shrimp cultivation and salt production. Their means of survival get disrupted, destroyed, and threatened by whimsical and precarious natural disasters like cyclones, floods, and drought, erosion, etc. almost every year. As the nearby inshore land area are not suitable enough for agriculture and cultivating green stuff, the climate victims frequently tire out with the limited scope of livelihood and search for alternative means of living.
A good number of people experiencing climate adversities migrate to the capital Dhaka expecting shelter and jobs. But the overburdened city cannot tackle such a continuous influx of population forced by climate disasters. The present condition of Dhaka city regarding its dwelling standard is surely messed up. With a lack in the indices of living standards and a tag of being the most densely city having poor air quality, Dhaka has been transfigured into a severe stage of endurance.
Rehabilitation with extending livelihood advantages for the climate venerable community should get prioritized. To mitigate the risks of climate change and alleviate the impoverishment and fatality resulted from global climate; the issuance of necessary supports from the responsible developed countries is also capitally substantial.
Our concerned policymakers have to think of adopting projected strategies to support climate migrants to mitigate the loss of their homes and jobs. The climate victims as most of them are deprived of minimal scope for subsistence, losing all their resources, find life tremendously measurable and head to elsewhere dreaming of dwelling anew. Therefore, befitting initiatives taken for providing jobs and assurance of earnings will shorten the rate of climate vulnerability and migration among the utterly huge floating folk.
Budgetary allocations should be augmented to scale down misery and protect the vulnerable population. By the way, a pragmatic investment might be ensured to develop climate-resilient and climate-friendly infrastructures and to invent salt-tolerant crops in agriculture. A far-reaching master scheme needs to take over in the sake of creating a substitute for earnings is veritably essential. To generate the opportunity of livelihood, authentic projects of launching vocational and technical training will originate a positive prospect for the climate distress.
All quarters must limit the greenhouse gas emissions to protect the planet earth from the gradual threat of climate change. Policy assistance along with realistic plans have to be executed also in the country's territory. Albeit it is no more a sole issue for Bangladesh, yet we must practice green policies in respect of energy consumption and generation. Changing our lifestyle will work significantly ranging the unnecessary emission of carbon in the homeland. It might work as the 'good of evil' as a last but not the least approach.
Pragmatic mitigation and adaptation schemes to confront climate migration must be instituted by the state authorities without having further delay. By the way-whatever we can-we ought to work in joint hands from our respective domain of interference against this grave shock.
(The writer is a psycho-social