The extremely poor people that live in the chars (riverine islands) of north-west Bangladesh face a wide range of vulnerabilities. Many of these are exacerbated by the changes steadily being identified as the result of climate change. Floods; erosion; lack of access to water, sanitation, basic services; livelihoods that are easily disrupted by disasters; gender-related discrimination; all of these and more are faced by tens of thousands of households living on the chars. Even with hard work and resilience, an erosion event caused by a record-breaking flood can set a family’s livelihood and standard of living back by years. Some households simply never recover, living their lives around or even below the extreme poor poverty line.
CLP’s approach to reducing these challenges and promoting resilient livelihoods centres around a multi-sectoral approach to tackle the physical, social and economic impacts of climate change. Measures taken by the CLP include raising plinths (mounds of engineered earth to raise dwellings off the river bottom), improved water supply, and social development messages. The CLP’s model is potentially replicable to other communities that face similar climate change-related vulnerabilities.
Pritchard, M.; Kenward, S.; Hannan, M. Climate Change and Resilient Livelihoods: CLP&#8217;s Approach to Reducing the Vulnerability of the Extreme Poor in the Riverine Islands of North-West Bangladesh. (2015) 13 pp.