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Affects of Climate Change on Dhaka

  • Date Submitted: 05/18/2014 06:50 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.7 
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Dhaka, one of the few important cities of South Asia and the capital of Bangladesh is now starting to step into the outer world in terms of development and industrialization. It currently has an estimated population of more than 15 million people, which also makes it one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. It is also called the “city of mosques” and the “rickshaw capital of the world”, but there is more to Dhaka, as it was also a main city during the Mughal Empire and is now the home to the Bangladeshi parliament (8). But why is this suddenly so important? That’s because the “city of mosques” is now been rated the #1 in the ratings of cities at risk from climate change according to the Maple croft’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) (9). As Dhaka is located on the east banks of the Buriganga River in the heart of the Bengal delta, it is at extreme risks from floods, rising water levels, intense tropical cyclones, water logging, rise in temperature and changing patterns of weather and precipitation (13).

Image 1:   Dhaka city, Searchable Map and Satellite View of the City of Dhaka, Bangladesh. (2013)

After Dhaka’s unique geography another factor that makes it so vulnerable to climate change is its increasing population. Dhaka’s population is predicted to double by 2025 (15). The main reason behind this increase is rural to urban migration, which is not only for better opportunities or jobs but instead many of the recent refugees in Dhaka are climate refugees that have migrated to the city because their own homelands are being destroyed because of climate change. [BBC, BBC environmental documentary, hot cities, 2009] (1). But how is this sort of migration affecting Dhaka? It is starting to pressurize Dhaka’s resources, as they aren’t available for everyone in the country, also because many of the refugees are poor and homeless, they tend to live in slums and make about 40% of Dhaka’s total population (13). This becomes a...


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