Open Access Article

Title: Salinity-induced loss and damage to farming households in coastal Bangladesh

Authors: Golam Rabbani; Atiq Rahman; Khandaker Mainuddin

Addresses: Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, House-10, 16A, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh ' Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, House-10, 16A, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh ' Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, House-10, 16A, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh

Abstract: Salinity intrusion in soil caused by climate-induced hazards, especially cyclones and sea level rise (SLR), is adversely affecting rice production in coastal Bangladesh. The southwest coastal district of Satkhira is one of the most vulnerable areas because of its high exposure to salinity intrusion and widespread poverty. Based on a survey of 360 farming households in four villages and on focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and community consultations, this paper explores how salinity intrusion affects rice production. This research demonstrates that salinity levels in the soil have increased sharply over the last 20 years. The introduction of saline-tolerant rice cultivars has been the most important adaptation measure being practised. These adaptation measures, however, have not been enough to deal with the sudden increase in salinity after cyclone Aila hit the area in 2009, with devastating consequences. In that year, farmers in the study areas lost their entire potential yield of aman rice production.

Keywords: salinity intrusion; climate change; cyclones; sea level rise; SLR; household loss; household damage; adaptation; agriculture; rice production; coastal zone; Bangladesh; South Asia; farming households.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2013.057284

International Journal of Global Warming, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.400 - 415

Available online: 22 Oct 2013 *