Climate fears for Bangladesh's future

09/10/2009 21:48

Environment analyst, Bangladesh

Masuma and her disabled husband (Image: Kate Forbes) Masuma's home is a bamboo and polythene shack in one of the hundreds of slums colonising every square metre of unbuilt land in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Masuma is an environmental refugee, fleeing from the floods which have always beset her homeland but which are predicted to strike more severely with climate change.

She has found her way to the city from the rural district of Bogra - a low-lying area originally formed from Himalayan silt where the landscape is still being shaped by the mighty Brahmaputra river as it snakes and carves through the soft sandy soil.

"In Bogra we had a straw-made house that was nice. When the flood came there was a big sucking of water and everything went down," Masuma says.

"Water was rising in the house and my sister left her baby upon the bed. When she came back in, the baby was gone. The baby had been washed away and later on we found the body," she recalls.

'Climate refugees'