Bangladesh – Community and Vulnerability Training

Similar to the training exercise conducted in October 2009 in Assam/India, together with the colleagues from ICIMOD and University of Southampton we organised another community/vulnerability training workshop in Dhaka (22 April – 1 May 2010) at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

‘Luckily’, due to the volcanic ash cloud the workshop was postponed for three days, even we arrived on time. So we took our time and visited the Jamuna (known as Brahmaputra in India) and some chars (river islands). After that, we conducted the workshop in Dhaka and had a field visit and mapping exercise at a local community located at the Padma river (=Brahmaputra and Ganges). The method derives from my PhD research (see also link here).

Bangladesh is known as the country probably most affected by climate change and heavily impacted by frequent hazards such as floods and cyclones. However, some study found out that Bangladeshi are one of the luckiest people. Whatever we can think of such studies, it is quite an intersting observation. Impressive is under which high level of risk this people live (70% of the country is floodplain & is the most densily populated country) and how they cope and adapt to that; something to defintely learn from (also from the shift to natural gas in cars, increase of rikshaw transport instead of motorcycles and the ban of plastic bags). Not a tourist site, but still one of the most impressive parts of the world viewed with a ‘geographer’s eye’.

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