A New Climate for Peace: Bangladesh
Coastal degradation and migration
While migration in Bangladesh is not new, more people are migrating from coastal areas to urban centres as their coastal farms and fishing areas become less secure due to coastal change, natural hazard-induced disasters, and increasing competition from a still-booming rural population. The Global Climate Risk Index cited Bangladesh as the sixth-most affected country by weather-related events such as storms, floods, and heat waves from 1994 to 2013. Sixty percent of the country is less than 5 metres above sea level, where it is extremely vulnerable to storm surges, erosion, salinization of soils and aquifers, and even complete inundation. The problem of soil salinity has been exacerbated by years of shrimp farming that have rendered land unfit for cultivation. Between 64,000 and 100,000 Bangladeshis are rendered homeless every year due to riverbank erosion.
Up to 2,000 people enter Dhaka each day, especially during the monsoon period, which exacerbates the ecological pressures in this high-density city, which has about 28,000 people per square kilometre. The migrants are often employed in marginal jobs and face appalling working and living conditions. As the numbers of migrants steadily increase, the weak urban infrastructure will face severe strains, including increasing numbers of squatter settlements and slums along with increasing pressure on services such as the provision of water, electricity, sanitation, and policing.
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