Climate change worsens water crisis in coastal Bangladesh

In the eigth of a series of articles by our Youth Newsroom reporters, Sohanur Rahman from Bangladesh delivers a photo story on a water crisis.

Climate change worsens water crisis in coastal Bangladesh

Climate change has raised sea levels. The consequent ingress of saline water has poisoned freshwater sources throughout coastal South Asia.

In Bangladesh, the salt water is seeping ever further inland. Many studies have shown that people in coastal Bangladesh are suffering more and more as saltwater intrudes into their water supply due to climate change. People are forced to migrate from these areas to nearby cities or the capital due to income and food poverty resulting from adverse impacts of climate change.

These resource-poor people, constantly affected by frequent extreme events and slow-steady ingress of salinity, tend to move to new areas, preferably cities. If these needs are met, these people will be able to run their livelihood and live healthy without having to leave their hometowns.

While residents of coastal areas like Shyamnagar are forced to buy water for drinking and cooking, they cannot afford to buy more. As a result, the increasingly saline water is used for washing and bathing, with serious health impacts. Skin infections are common, as are urinary tract infections and pelvic inflammatory disease among women. Poor menstrual health is another huge issue.

Climate finance should not be about loans, charity and donations, this is not right. Climate finance should be about compensation. The polluters who caused the climate crisis have a responsibility to compensate and unconditionally relieve debt for low-income countries.

Photo Credit: SM Shahin Billah, YouthNet for Climate Justice, Satkhira

Sohanur Rahman (Bangladesh)