Sunday, July 18, 2010

Climate change impacts increasingly visible in Bangladesh

Syful Islam in the New Nation (Bangladesh): The impact of global climate change on Bangladesh is becoming more visible day by day as many things are often found unusual than the previous. Rising number of cyclone, storm, sea level rise, unusually early flooding and river erosion, mud slide, excessive salinity in the soil and in underground aquifers used for irrigation has left the country at a dire state.

Reports from countryside, experts' opinion and investigation found that the volume of atypical happenings is rising in the country as the impact of climate change is further deepening. A report, submitted in the COP 15 in Copenhagen last year, found Bangladesh as most vulnerable country to the climate change.

Farmers in worst climate change hit Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts now days watching their rice crops getting wither and die before reaching maturity. In some cases, farmers have sown rice plants several times in a season but seen none survive.

Farmers said worsening sea water storm surges and overuse of irrigation have left fields, wells and ponds too salty to grow crops, leading to a growing exodus of farmers from the region.

…In the Tala, Debhata and Kaliganj upzila under Satkhira district, salinity in wells 70 to 80 feet deep is now 10 times higher than the tolerable limit for rice cultivation, researchers say. "This is really unfortunate for the people of that area who go hungry many days a year in the absence of food," said M A Rashid, a scientist at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute in Dhaka….

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