Climate Change and Urbanization: Perspective Bangladesh
The inhabitants of Dhaka are 15 million, 40% of it is “homeless slum dwellers”, and in each year population is increasing by 1.1 million. Change can be happen only through a horrific change, when each of the building will be built with proper plan, if the in-city industries are relocated to a planned industrial zones, new residential areas will be built for the new comers, new parks, open spaces, play grounds will be created, roads will be wider, pollution will be reduced, then the city will be full of green.
Although Bangladesh has been considered as one of the most vulnerable country because of the climate change / global warming, but the country itself is not responsible even 1% for the causes of this vulnerabilities. Sea water is rising-up through out the coastal riverbanks of Bangladesh, salinity is increasing in the coastal lands, cultivable lands are decreasing, production of seasonal crops and fruits are reducing, sweet water natural reservoir and sources are being vanished from coastal areas, all the sweet water fishes are being extincted from the coast. In a nut shell, coastal areas of Bangladesh are being converted into a unproductive, unfit for human habitat, harsh, deserted and disaster prone area due to climate change and global warming.
What experts say:
Experts are disclosing that salt water is being infiltrated far to the upstream from south to north of Bangladesh. As a result, more cultivable lands will become salty and unproductive harsh land.
On one hand, sea water is rising and the other ground water / aquifer are going down on the other; so the empty pores are being filled by salty sea water. Thus the salty water tide is being moved towards the north. If this continues, Dhaka will be converted into a coastal city by next 20 years like Chittagong port city. Experts are saying that 19 species of small and large birds or animals has been extincted already from coastal areas due to saline water and because of losing their own natural habitat too; human life and livelihoods are being changed along with food habit and culture.
Climate Change / global warming has accelerated urbanization:
We are proceeding towards a confirmed and painful situation in each day, land salinity is increasing in coastal areas, cultivable land is decreasing, crops & fruits production is decreasing. Coastal people are facing physical problems, arsenic in drinking water is increasing, it is spreading into fruits, crops and vegetables day by day.
Hundreds of thousands of work-less families are rushing towards cities to live hand to mouth. So new and temporary shelters are being built in each day, which are converting to slums in next day. Thus urbanization is growing rapidly; stress is being increased on large cities including Dhaka. Unplanned urbanization is being created because of quick expansion of urban area, and various public facilities like electricity, water, transport are being reduced.
Need of a planned urbanization:
According to Dhaka City Corporation, total inhabitants of Dhaka are 15 million and 40% of it (5.2 million) is urban poor- “homeless slum dwellers”. Here, in each year population is increasing by 1.1 million, which means 3041 persons per day are coming to the capital city.
Due to unplanned urbanization, multistory housing and commercial buildings are being erected here and there, a huge number of industries exist within the capital, roads are squeezing, play grounds are being vanished, parks and green areas are going to be the history, urban areas are getting warmer, rain-on time is a myth now, winter does not feel like winter here any more.
Day by day, the slums are getting light & air less, congested, unhealthy, insecure and crime prone. Here people are forced to live the inhumane life only to survive. It is even unexpected to them too.
Change can be happen only through a horrific change, when each of the building will be built with proper plan, if the in-city industries are relocated to a planned industrial zones, new residential areas will be built for the new comers, new parks, open spaces, play grounds will be created, roads will be wider, pollution will be reduced, then the city will be full of green.
The 400 years old, mega city Dhaka - our pride will be scenic and decent city on the globe. Nothing wrong to be a dreamy, let us take the initiatives from each one’s perspective. Let us try to make the country beautiful. Let us be happy.
The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was: