American Journal of Rural Development
ISSN (Print): 2333-4762 ISSN (Online): 2333-4770 Website: Editor-in-chief: Chi-Ming Lai
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American Journal of Rural Development. 2015, 3(2), 24-33
DOI: 10.12691/ajrd-3-2-2
Open AccessArticle

Adaptation Strategies after Cyclone in Southwest Coastal Bangladesh – Pro Poor Policy Choices

Zakia Sultana1 and Bishawjit Mallick2, 3,

1Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh

2Institute of Regional Science (IfR), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

3Foreign Research Fellow at Political Science Department of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA

Pub. Date: July 23, 2015

Cite this paper:
Zakia Sultana and Bishawjit Mallick. Adaptation Strategies after Cyclone in Southwest Coastal Bangladesh – Pro Poor Policy Choices. American Journal of Rural Development. 2015; 3(2):24-33. doi: 10.12691/ajrd-3-2-2


People live under the constant threats of natural hazards in the coastal areas all over the world. Thus raise the questions: how do they react to the risk of those natural calamities and how do they adapt with the adverse situations that are derived by those calamities. Taking these into considerations, this research explores the ‘atlas of the locally adopted strategies’ to cope with adverse effects of cyclone Aila in southwest coastal Bangladesh. Particularly, this research has explored the community level practices in agriculture, housing, water resources, communication and employment generations. An empirical survey was undertaken with 145 respondents by using semi-structured interviews with selected social groups and their households’ assistants. Besides face-to-face interviews, this survey applied group level qualitative assessment methods i.e. FGD (focus group discussion), Social Domain Analyses, and In-depth Interviews to collect the data. Results show that people have started to cultivate saline tolerant rice and vegetables on raised homesteads. They are using dripping irrigation methods. Rain water harvesting and artificial aquifer tube-well have been introduced for water management. The houses’ mud walls have been replaced by or even newly rebuilt with Goran wood or bamboo sticks to save lives. They have formed groups to save money for the next disaster and taken out loans for small entrepreneurship projects. Due to the crises of fodder, pastureland and freshwater, people have started to rear small animals and birds like sheep, goat and pigeon instead of cow and buffalo. New technology based shrimp farming is another new innovation. Discussions were held on the pros and cons of all of the above strategies that help to design the long-term risk reduction planning at the local level and addresses the ‘not the need-based planning but the acceptance-based strategies’ mantra of development in context of community based disaster management planning. This paper adds values to the climate change adaptation field by addressing the acceptance of modern disaster risk reduction technologies into a traditionally modified approach based on the empirical evidence of coastal livelihood analysis in Bangladesh.

local adaptation strategies disaster risk reduction planning community based management Bangladesh pro-poor policy choice

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