Bangladesh – a country with one of the highest rates of vulnerability to disasters and extreme weather event is a major rea of discussion for climate change related experts, academicians and development practitioners. After the devastating cyclone Amphan, which left several coastal districts shattered in May, 2020; numerous studies, reports and articles have been published – focusing not only on the after effects of the disaster but also on solutions, what is working and what is not and how to do better.
Following the damages, many of these people had to take loans either to repair and rebuild houses or to migrate to new settlements which in turn threw them in debt burden.
While the issue evidently showed the gloomy side of cyclone Amphan, it also highlighted several success stories and potential way forward to tackle disasters like this more effectively in future. For example, Bangladesh has achieved great progress in minimizing cyclone-related deaths and injuries during the last 30 years. The country made significant progress in the early warning system, recruitment of trained volunteers (CPP), the number of cyclone shelters, and increasing institutional capacity. However, there is a lot of space left for improvement; especially in terms of reducing the loss and damage to livelihoods.
The issue portrayed the overall scenario – from showing the lingering struggles and challenges from cyclones to emphasizing on the positive changes and suggesting ways that can serve as a template for not only development practitioners but also government officials and policy decision-makers.
Originally this article was published on February 14, 2022 at Climate Tribune.
Samina Islam is working as Junior Research Officer at International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD). Her research interest is in climate and environmental policies, climate change adaptation, climate migration and displacements.