Riverbank erosion and seasonal floods displaces as many as 400,000 people each year in Bangladesh. Between 2008 and 2013, about 4 million people of Bangladesh have been displaced by sudden onset disaster.
The scale of displacement caused by disasters is largely determined by communities’ underlying vulnerability to shocks or stresses. Disasters take place in an embedded context of social, economic and political realities. Displacement puts communities at greater risk of impoverishment and discrimination, and creates specific needs among those affected.
These are the outcome of a newly published report on Community Resilience and Disaster Related Displacement in South Asia conducted by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). ActionAid Bangladesh and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) published the research report on Saturday, 14 november at Hotel Westin, Dhaka.
The report says, “To mitigate the suffering of the displaced people Bangladesh need to prepare communities for sudden-onset disasters and reduce risk of displacement through awareness rising and adaptation schemes. Advocating with authorities and communities to prevent displacement through DRR and climate adaptation measures, including long-term planning of relocations for communities faced with submergence is also important.
Presenting the research paper Dr Dorien Braam said, “Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable areas for the displayed people. To address the issue Government should transfer more responsibilities and resources from the national government to local authorities for the displayed people”.
Commenting on the research paper climate expert Dr Atiqe Rahman said, “Climate change are intensifying the number displaced people are. Every year we are facing lot of disaster with long term climate change impact. To mitigate the problem Bangladesh can’t solve the problem alone. We need greater a global working plan and commitment from international stakeholders to solve the problem. Mr. Adam Combs, Head of Asia Section, International Programme Department, Norwegian Refugee Council said, “The problem of displaced communities is more acute than any other climate related problem”.
Addressing the issue Md. Shahidul Haque, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Displacement for disaster and climate change is a global issue. It ought to be incorporated in the global debate. We need a common understanding and work plan with national and international support develop a sustainable solution for and with the displaced people. The Government of Bangladesh are in the forefront of finding a viable international better solution.
Dr. Saleemul Huq – Director, International Center for Climate Change and Development said, “Migration or displacement is a global issue. We need migration with dignity. In Bangladesh displacement is the consequence of disaster and climate change impact. We can’t address alonei. We need combined national and international actions and to include the issue of displacement in global agreement.” Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh said, “Adequate resources, sufficient policies, DRR and Climate centric education and technology are the only way to address the displacement issue. As it’s not our own creation the international community has to step up their game. We have a campaign for migration with dignity”.
The Report says, Countries in South Asia face a range of disasters and natural hazards in the form of torrential rains, tornados, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and famine. The observed effects of climate change include risks that threaten lives, food security, health and well being. It all triggers displacement. Between 2008 and 2013, South Asia ranked second behind East Asia and the Pacific in the number of people displaced by disasters in both absolute and relative terms.