Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 4 Number 3 (2012)

doi: 10.3850/S1793924012001435

Riverbank Erosion Induced Migration by the Char-Dwellers in Bangladesh: Towards a Better Strategy

Mohammad Najmul Islam
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, 46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Riverbank erosion is one of the major natural hazards in Bangladesh. Due to population pressure and scarcity of land, many of the poorest communities in Bangladesh are obliged to live in riverine island areas known as Char-lands. The Char people are facing variations in the dynamics of rivers and Char formation and associated riverbank erosion and flood hazards. Many households of the study area are forced to move away from their homesteads due to riverbank erosion and flood. In the dwelling displacement and migration, they need adaptive management in different stages to reduce damages and vulnerabilities. The purpose of this paper is to explore better migration process and necessary conditions which enable it, and find out coping strategies of the Char-dwellers as local wisdoms. Household survey, case study and close observation methods were conducted on the Char-land study villages located on the River Padma in Bangladesh. The study revealed that village-based community migration is much better than household-based individual migration in terms of efficiency and reducing damages and insecurities during the whole migration process. Close inter-relation between gusthis, good leadership, overall financial ability, wide and close networks with different organizations, etc. are the necessary conditionswhich enable villagemigration.

Keywords: Riverbank erosion, Migration, Char-dwellers.

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