The word that we most commonly associate with Dhaka city is perhaps “overpopulated”. This statement feels truer especially in this month of Ramadan. Supporting over 14 million people on less than 325 kilometers of land is Dhaka city. The drainage, waste management, and transportation management of the city are on the brink of collapsing. And we may know Why Dhaka Is So Overpopulated:
The current situation:
Against this much of backdrop, it isn’t surprising to find Dhaka among the worst cities to live in. The apparent reasons for that are overpopulation, waterlogging, and congestion. But, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find unsustainable levels of climate-induced displacement and migration. These problems are washing up along the country’s 700 kilometers of low-lying coast. There are rising sea levels and cyclones which are heightening the risk of floods. These are some reasons Why Dhaka Is So Overpopulated.
Riverbank erosion and intrusion of seawater are equally having a devastating impact on the country’s population.
“Over the next two to three decades millions of people will no longer be able to live and earn their livelihoods from farming and fishing as they are now,”
says Saleemul Huq, a senior fellow working with the Climate Change Group of IIED. Contrarily, there are prolonged droughts- that affect arable lands through soil erosion and ultimately damage crops depending on predictable monsoon patterns.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) has estimated that 20 million people will get displaced in Bangladesh soon enough. And currently, many of the half-a-million plus people who have moved their families to Dhaka alongside their hopes are driven there more by climate change than anything else. This is Why Dhaka Is So Overpopulated.
The capital of Bangladesh teeters on less than 1 percent of the country’s overall landmass. And it is far from being any promised land at all. Combining explosive population with land scarcity means that the property and rental prices are blowing off the roof.
Add in the fact that majority of these “climate refugees” come from humble financial backgrounds, they have little alternative but to join nearly 3.4 million people who live in the substandard squatter settlements bereft of gas or electricity known as “bosti”.
Even when they move to Dhaka city, they just can’t seem to get past environmental disasters. They have to live on flimsy shack-like houses in low-lying areas where water gets into their homes easily if it rains a bit.
Incidents of floods in Dhaka are going up, and if you combine it with the lack of water and proper sanitation facilities then you a large number of victims of waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.
Rahmat Ali, a resident of Dhaka’s biggest slum Korail, moved to the city as saltwater logged his farmland. Once an agricultural worker, he now works as a rickshaw puller and says that, getting by each day is a hard grind. You are reading “Why Dhaka Is So Overpopulated”.
There are ubiquitous bostis and climate refugees who dominate the cityscape. As a result, the more affluent Dhaka residents have become alarmingly desensitized and apathetic to this plight. In fact, they have come to terms and accepted it as a norm.
Bangladesh may have developed a solid strategic framework to tackle climate change; this includes National Action Plan for Adaptation and the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. However, there are no adaptation programs prescribed specifically addressing climate-induced internal displacement yet.
This picture clearly illustrates the fact that climate change is something that not only affects the polar bears but also the future generation.
That is all from “Why Dhaka Is So Overpopulated”. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.