More Research About the Relationship Between Flash Floods and Climate Change is Needed in Bangladesh

Environmental News from Australia:

  • In northeastern Bangladesh, an early start to the monsoon and unusually heavy rains have caused massive flooding.
  • The Meghna River Basin is accustomed to these flash floods, but the scale of the disaster this year has been compounded by human encroachment and development in the watershed region, said M. Monirul Qader Mirza, a water management expert.
  • In an interview with Mongabay, Mirza emphasised the need for infrastructure planning to consider river and rainfall dynamics to mitigate flood risk, and to have an early-warning system in place to minimise damage.
  • Mirza also said that identifying the role of climate change in the problem is complex and requires extensive studies and modelling, but added it’s indisputable that rainfall patterns have become increasingly erratic.

A large part of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Basin makes up the most of Bangladesh’s land. The northeastern part of the country, which the Meghna Basin covers, is currently experiencing highly destructive flash floods. Unusually heavy rains during the early monsoon have left around 4 million people stranded in the floodwaters.

Human encroachment and development in the watershed has compounded the problem, blocking the quick runoff of excess water.

M. Monirul Qader Mirza, a water management expert and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, attributes the problem to a range of factors, from extreme rainfall to siltation of waterways as a result of mining. Mirza has written extensively on flood issues in his native Bangladesh and the wider South Asia region. His Ph.D. focused on modelling the effects of climate change on flooding in Bangladesh, and he has also contributed to several assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an author.

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Source: Mongabay

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