main. Most of the family members take two meals a day. Only a few family
members take one meal a day. School remains closed for a long period of
time. The respondents also said that during the period of water logging day
labouring, relief, snail gathering and fishing become the ways of livelihoods.
But most of the people do not find any work. They suffer from various
diseases but medical services are not provided in the shelters. The school
going students do not get the environment to continue their education. At
the shelters the girls face sexual harassments. No security system works for
the girls and women.
3. The Drivers of Chronic Poverty in the South-West Coastal Belt of
Caitlin Macdonald, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL
The south-west coastal region of Bangladesh was once a prosperous
agricultural hub. A unique ecological tidal wetland of both saline and fresh
water, farmers were able to produce strong and diversified crop yields round
the year. Since the 1960s, the introduction of the embankment system, the
proliferation of shrimp farming and the increasing pressure of natural
disasters and climate change have had devastating effects on the region. This
report outlines the findings of an indepth livelihoods vulnerability and
climate change assessment in four Upazilas, each affected by and still
recovering from cyclones Sidr (2007) and/or Aila (2009) to varying degrees in
the south-west. What revealed is a fragile environmental landscape with
highly vulnerable livelihood options under increasing pressure. Shrimp
farming has in many parts decimated agricultural farming forcing paddy
farmers out of business or to convert to shrimp. As a result, daily labour work
opportunities have been significantly reduced and large shrimp farming
enterprises have consolidated regional wealth into the hands of a few.
Resulting salinity levels have affected homestead gardening, livestock
rearing and jeopardized safe drinking water sources. Adaptation options for
households in this region are extremely limited. The need for diversified,
saline-resistant crop varieties and innovative rice farming techniques is clear.
Supporting the reintroduction of paddy farming to the region has the
potential to have significant positive flow-on effects. The reduction of
salinity levels to the region is critical to strengthening livelihoods and
resilience of communities to what will undoubtedly be increasing pressure
from climate change and salinity over the coming years. This paper proposes
several options to facilitate this transition and support the move back to a
pattern of diversified, resilient livelihoods in the region once again.
Poverty and Development: Realities of Grassroots 05