Bangladesh is frequently mentioned as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change due to its disadvantageous geographical location, flat and low-lying topography, high population density, continuous rise in poverty, and the reliance of many livelihoods on climate-sensitive sectors, particularly agriculture and fisheries, and inefficient institutional aspects. Many of the predicted negative effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, greater temperatures, increased monsoon precipitation, and increased cyclone severity, will exacerbate the existing stressors that hamper Bangladesh’s development. 

Image: a man teaches his grandson to swim in their flooded yard © Fatima-Tuj- Johora.

The cumulative impact of floods caused by water flashing from nearby hills, upstream intake accumulation, and locally excessive rains exacerbated by drainage congestion is a problem that Bangladesh faces every year. 

In recent years, unusual floods have become more common in Bangladesh, causing significant damage to people and property. Photojournalist Fatima-Tuj- Johora has followed some of these recent floods, capturing and experiencing the depth of the impact on people’s daily lives. 

Image: fishing equipment in a flooded yard © Fatima-Tuj- Johora.

Jharna is a 35 years old woman she met in 2020. Jharna was infected with a water-borne disease after spending more than a month living in floodwater with her family. A common reality for many of her poor neighbours. 

Image: family stands in front of their flooded house © Fatima-Tuj- Johora.

Willpower isn’t enough in this reality. Surviving a disaster for the extremely poor frequently escalates into a nightmare. Food shortages, lack or insufficient income, illiteracy, a high concentration of day labourers, and inadequate infrastructure make flood-prone zones fare the worst among disaster-prone areas. In a country like Bangladesh, proper flood management is a dire necessity. Building climate, social and economic resilience and involving all stakeholders in the process may be the only way to move forward.

Image: boy sits on a hanging bed in his flooded house © Fatima-Tuj- Johora.