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Vulnerability, Risk Perception, and Livelihood Strategies Among Riverside Communities of Ramgati Upazila In Bangladesh: The Role of Embankments

Authors: Mizanur Rahman*, MS Student, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, East Carolina University., Jeff Popke, Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, East Carolina University.
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Bangladesh, Riverbank Erosion, Embankment, Adaptation, Risk Perception
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Riverbank erosion is a major hazard in Bangladesh, where it poses a significant threat to homes, property, and livelihoods. In response, riverside communities in Bangladesh have developed a range of traditional adaptation measures and coping strategies to manage risk in an uncertain environment. In recent years, the government of Bangladesh has intensified efforts to mitigate riverbank erosion by hardening shorelines, including the building of concrete revetments, but the local dynamics of these interventions are not well-documented. This paper will present results from a study of community-level response to a 3.5-kilometer concrete revetment recently constructed in the administrative district of Ramgati, in the lower Meghna River basin of Bangladesh. Drawing on data from a community survey (n=420), as well as interviews with key informants and local households, the paper will examine the perceptions, adaptation responses, and changing livelihood patterns of Ramgati residents in the context of the newly-built revetment. In particular, the study will assess the extent to which perceptions and livelihood responses are influenced by occupation, socioeconomic status, and location, and will compare the views of households now protected by the revetment and those who live in areas still subject to riverbank erosion. Results from the study will add to our knowledge of changing adaptation practices in the context of government interventions to manage environmental risk.

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