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Nothing to bank on

  • Published at 04:09 pm October 12th, 2018
Erosion
Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

This wreaks havoc to the lives of thousands of people who live along the banks of these rivers

It is a matter of grave concern that, since the 1970s, more than 160,000 hectares of land have been lost due to erosion on the banks of the Jamuna and Padma rivers. 

This wreaks havoc to the lives of thousands of people who live along the banks of these rivers and, as such, it is imperative that this continuous erosion of land is minimized as much as possible in the upcoming years. 

It is always the poor who suffer the most, for the majority of slum-dwellers in major cities and towns call these riverbanks their home. 

There are numerous examples of structures being lost in this manner, with multitudes of people forced to move out, or forced to find lodgings elsewhere. 

In an increasingly climate-sensitive world, it is crucial to address issues such as these head on, as countless others are forced to migrate due to sea level rises brought about as a result of global warming. 

Experts have already touted the importance of using satellite imagery, among others, to predict potential vulnerable sites, so that this erosion can be managed and minimized, and more people do not have to suffer as a result. 

There are constructional solutions -- which control the flow of water through specialized chutes and run-off pipes -- also available to ensure that riverbank erosion does not pose a bigger threat in the future, but these are expensive to instill.

Long-term thinking, then, is extremely important -- with 22 locations already deemed vulnerable to erosion, a planned effort to collect the necessary funds and create alternative solutions remains the greatest need before more people lose their homes.