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Rising sea levels for climate change, a threat to coastal farmers in Bangladesh

sea level rsing

Tahjeeb Hossain Chowdhury: Climate Change is a worrying prospect for the whole world and nations have been taking steps to brace for impact. But that goes tenfold for a delta nation like Bangladesh. Previous studies have shown that Bangladesh will be one of the victims of the effects of climate change. A very haunting example of this can be seen in the prediction that pertains to agriculture. It has been predicted that the rising water levels might cause coastal farmers of Bangladesh to move inland. 

Although a riverine country, the coastal farmers have to contend with already dire situations regarding saltwater. The coastal farmers in Bangladesh have to move inland as saltwater can damage the produce. Coupled with the fact that floods have forced farmers to move to fisheries to compensate for losses, the climate change-related water level rising might affect the most vulnerable groups. 

The Ohio State University associate professor Joyce Chen revealed all of this in her study regarding the farming challenges of Bangladesh pertaining to climate change. She revealed in her study that climate change will affect those who have the fewest resources to begin with. The poor marginalized farmers of the coastal regions who cannot rely on other income would have to move inland to save their lives, let alone occupation. Coastal farmland is under threat because of how much soil salinity is rising. Bangladesh will be hit hard by the change. 

It is expected that 10-18 millimeters of coastal land will disappear every year as climate change takes a toll. With 40% of Bangladesh’s agricultural land already under threat, there will be a shift of livelihood of close to 1.3 billion. Agriculture will change course to aquaculture as fisheries will become a source of income for the affected populace. 

Joyce Chen and her co-author Vallerie Mueller have voiced their concerns regarding the incoming danger of people of Bangladesh. She has said that the most vulnerable of farmers will be hit pretty hard by the changing sea levels. Their lives and livelihood will be a bone of contention in the coming era. Although migration to other countries will see a decrease to compensate for the expected change of profession, it is worrying that not every farmer can resort to change. The authors have urged similar countries to learn from Bangladesh’s case. They also called for policies for transition and transformation. 

(The writer is a marketing graduate, content writer, and data science enthusiast from Dhaka, reach him at omio.hossain77@gmail.com)

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