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The Costs of Living with Floods in the Jamuna Floodplain in Bangladesh

1
Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1012 WX Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering, KTH, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
4
Deltares, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
5
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden
6
Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, CNDS, SE-75236 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061238
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Governance for More Resilience)
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Abstract

Bangladeshi people use multiple strategies to live with flooding events and associated riverbank erosion. They relocate, evacuate their homes temporarily, change cropping patterns, and supplement their income from migrating household members. In this way, they can reduce the negative impact of floods on their livelihoods. However, these societal responses also have negative outcomes, such as impoverishment. This research collects quantitative household data and analyzes changes of livelihood conditions over recent decades in a large floodplain area in north-west Bangladesh. It is found that while residents cope with flooding events, they do not achieve successful adaptation. With every flooding, people lose income and assets, which they can only partially recover. As such, they are getting poorer, and therefore less able to make structural adjustments that would allow adaptation in the longer term. View Full-Text
Keywords: flooding; erosion; coping; adaptation; Jamuna River; Bangladesh flooding; erosion; coping; adaptation; Jamuna River; Bangladesh
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Ferdous, M.R.; Wesselink, A.; Brandimarte, L.; Slager, K.; Zwarteveen, M.; Di Baldassarre, G. The Costs of Living with Floods in the Jamuna Floodplain in Bangladesh. Water 2019, 11, 1238.

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