An idea for adaptation to climate changes in villages adjoining the Teesta River at Lalmonirhat district, Bangladesh

By Fardous Mohammad Safiul Azam

River bank erosion is one of the common phenomenons in the northern part of Bangladesh, which includes Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Nilphamari and Kurigram districts. The villagers, (whose life mainly depends on agriculture) living beside the Teesta river that runs through in Lalmonirhat district, are one of the direct victims of such disasters. Landless farmers are increasing day by day in this region and they are also facing regular floods, cold spells and drought. All these natural calamities are surprisingly changing their pattern in this region in respect of global climate change. It is estimated that global warming is openly responsible for grater melting of the Himalayan glaciers so that erosion of river banks and flooding are happening in uneven pattern in the recent decade in these districts. The populations of the adjoining of Teesta River are forced to have less cultivable lands and dropped to seasonal food crises each year, locally termed as ‘Monga’. In this regards, a project by one of the International Climate Champions 2010 by British Council Bangladesh has initiated in Lalmonirhat district to increase knowledge and awareness on impacts of climate change of the farmers, as well as proposing them to increase adaptability through cultivating more underutilized species. This is how they could increase crop diversity for adaption to climate change and can alleviate their seasonal food crises and malnutrition.  Download the study report.