An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Asia
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
Addressing the issue of disaster and climate risks, it is necessary to assess the area and the existing capacity first. In Dakhin Bedkashi, Community Risk Assessment (CRA) was conducted following the guideline of Comprehensive Disaster Management Program of Bangladesh Government. It is a participatory process conducted in a community to identify its vulnerabilities and capacities to set the disaster and climate risk reduction action plans. It upholds the community based disaster preparedness actions at the rural and urban grass root level where it plays an essential role in preparedness and adaptation measures. It is complementary to risk, hazard, vulnerability and capacity-mapping exercises that identify communities most at risk. As it captures the vulnerability and capacity simultaneously, the roles and responsibility of different stakeholders are chalked out and incorporated in the action plans. CRA includes people belonging to different race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is a means to find out what these people?s own priorities are in the context of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The information gathered from CRA contributes to developing future programmes with vulnerable groups, government, NGOs and other key stakeholders. In terms of Dakhin Bedkashi, the representatives of Union Disaster Management Committee, Union Parisod, Cyclone Preparedness Programs, Red Crescent, local government officials, the chairperson of the Union and local elites participated and facilitated the process. The duration of enhancing resilience of community people program is two years. The field based team of the program is supporting the community very closely. Building and strengthening embankments, putting blocks along the river, planting cyclone and salinity resistant trees, building climate resilient households (this special kind of house is built on the existing local house building technique with emphasis given on climate resistance. This type of households had been built on other working areas of our organization), promoting climate friendly (interventions should be selected considering the possible impacts of climate change) WASH, repairing roads, providing training on alternative livelihood are some of the solutions recommended by the community. These measures are mentioned in the CRA of Dakhin Bedkashi along the responsible persons for implementation. These solutions are found out in the presence of community members including children women, elderly and people with disability. The participating from these excluded groups was ensured so that interventions are friendly to them. Moreover, resources are being mobilized from government, institutional donors and other stakeholders to implement the solutions.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
-Increased vegetation and biodiversity -Increased food and fodder for livestock
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
-Increased vegetation coverage -Number of community members attending the meetings -Number of the government officials attending the meetings -The community has taken preparedness measures
-Resource needed for communication and transportation with different stakeholders -Job training -Cost for livelihood activities -Cost for climate resilient shelters -Cost for climate friendly WASH, solar and bio gas plant
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
-Community maintaining regular communication with the local government to know more about alternative livelihood options, new variety of crops and early warning information regarding hazards -The people will not only depend on agriculture rather than be involved in non agriculture activities -The climate resilient shelters will be replicated in other areas -People will be aware of climate friendly WASH, solar and bio gas plant
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
-The needs of community incorporated in the annual development plan -Increased earning of the targeted people -Number of climate resilient shelter -Awareness of climate friendly WASH, solar and bio gas plant
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
Facing the adverse impacts of climate change like river erosion, cyclone, saline intrusion etc, Dakhin Bedkashi community has been protecting itself from these hazards for years through their existing knowledge and traditional practices. These solutions include both short-term and long-term solutions. They make temporary fencing (made of bamboo, tree branches and leaves) in order to prevent tidal surge and river erosion. Tree plantation has been one of their oldest techniques to protect the households from storm winds and also to prevent river erosion. They also tie their household roofs to the ground with rope to prevent them being blown away during cyclones. Apart from these disaster management techniques, they rely on their local knowledge for daily living. Making fire is essential for cooking food. However, collecting fire wood is a critical job due to very limited vegetation in the locality. Cow dung is also rare as live stock rearing is greatly hindered because of lack of food and fodder. One technique is that the women of the households go to the nearby river and collect the leaves, wood coming with the stream with a special kind of net and dry them under the sun. However, it is a hectic job as collectors have to stay in the river water for hours until their requirement is fulfilled. Another way of making fire is to prepare a ball from earth, ash and cow dung. They prepare this kind of earthen ball with their hands and use it for making fire. This particular skill is very useful when livestock rearing opportunity is little. However, these measures are not permanent solutions to climate change. The capabilities of the locals need to be strengthened in this dynamic context of climate change. The traditional practices need to be incorporated with new and innovative solutions.
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
Coastal flooding or storm surge
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
The ecosystem was under extreme stress due to the hit of cyclone Sidr and cyclone Aila. After cyclone Aila in 2009, the sustainable stock of fish, earthworms, snakes, rats, grass and cattle was washed away in sudden unforeseen events, which practically damaged the entire sweet water ecosystem. The aftermath did not look unusual, the trees were uprooted, and the huts were twisted and collapsed. However, the uniqueness of Aila had been the salinity in the water bodies. Carbon storage and carbon reduction activities will directly reduce the sensitivity of the ecosystem. The introduction of saline tolerant crop and vegetable variety, cultivation of white fish and promotion of sheep rearing will help to bring the ecosystem in normal condition.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
According to the Risk Reduction Plan (developed form Community Risk Assessment Plan), tree plantation is prioritized as one of the risk reduction activities. As it is a coastal community, they have recommendation to plant saline and cyclone resistant trees around their community. They also would like to raise awareness on not to destroy the seeds coming with stream. They hope to build a green shield around their Union so that they can be protected from cyclone and any other hazards. This will also boost the ecosystem of the Sundarbans.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
The climate resilient shelters will secure the life of the vulnerable community of Dakhin Bedkashi. The climate friendly WASH activities will give access to safe and secure water, sanitation and hygiene to the locals. These household level activities will also be shared at the local level so that the neighboring people learn about and adopt climate resilient shelter and WASH.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
The Union was wrecked after repeated cyclones of Sidr and Aila in 2007 and 2009. Nothing would grow on that land as well as the influx of saline water rendered the soil unfit for agriculture. The livestock started to die due to inadequate food and malnourishment as yield from crop cultivation was very little. People stopped rearing livestock. The saline water also flooded the sweet water resources killing a large variety of fishes. As a result, an alternative solution needed to be placed to save the life and livelihood of the people. The return to the normal condition is happening slowly. By taking the advantage of the current improvement process, the program is encouraging the use of saline tolerant rice variety. It is also promoting alternative livelihood opportunities with special focus on non agricultural activities. It will be giving training to the selected community members based on their skill and interest. The people of the area are already farming shrimp and crab as alternative livelihood. However, the option is not growing due to lack of proper farming process. Proper shrimp and crab cultivation will be promoted considering the welfare of the environment and optimizing the resources.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
Implementing development program in climate vulnerable community is in indeed challenging. The communities frequently face the hazards like cyclone, storm, river erosion etc. All the development and progress can be hampered due any occurrence of disaster. People are usually de ?motivated in undertaking mitigation and preparedness measures as most of their earnings are spent to secure their primary needs of life. It is a long-term process where the communities as well as the program need to be patient and innovative. The innovation to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are hoped to be resolving the problems and bring the change in the lives of the vulnerable people. It is difficult to foresee the exact impacts of climate change. The climate friendly interventions are developed and implemented based on the current trends. The success of the solution is dependent on the till date assumptions of the impacts of changing climate.