Rising sea levels and devastating floods are wreaking havoc in Bangladesh. Water is destroying crops and homes. Largely as a result of global warming, residents are in a constant battle against flooding.
In the Ganges Delta in southern Bangladesh, saltwater seeps into the land, bringing the region’s entire economy to a standstill. Many farmers have had to convert their rice fields into less-profitable shrimp farms. The huge rivers in the country’s interior are an additional threat.
Melting Himalayan ice and heavy monsoon rains lead to dangerous rises in water level. Every year, rivers burst their banks, washing away tens of thousands of homes. The results are catastrophic, with more than 14,000 Bangladeshi children drowning every year. Natural disasters have led to a massive influx of internally displaced people into the country’s capital, Dhaka.
Climate refugees look for casual jobs to get by. Korban Ali became a cycle-rickshaw driver. He transports people from place to place 12 hours a day, seven days a week, hoping to provide a better life for his children. Bangladesh also struggles with extreme pollution, mainly caused by its textile industry. Every day, tons of toxic waste are dumped. Sewage treatment plants empty their tanks, which are filled with carcinogenic chemicals, directly into rivers.
People like Jahirul, who was educated in Australia, are trying to fight this environmental destruction. The director of a shipbreaking yard, Jahirul has invested 10 million euros in a project to recycle hazardous waste like asbestos, batteries and engine oil.