Natural Hazards

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 391–413 | Cite as

Drought risk assessment in the western part of Bangladesh

  • Shamsuddin Shahid
  • Houshang Behrawan
Original Paper


Though drought is a recurrent phenomenon in Bangladesh, very little attention has been so far paid to the mitigation and preparedness of droughts. This article presents a method for spatial assessment of drought risk in Bangladesh. A conceptual framework, which emphasizes the combined role of hazard and vulnerability in defining risk, is used for the study. Standardized precipitation index method in a GIS environment is used to map the spatial extents of drought hazards in different time steps. The key social and physical factors that define drought vulnerability in the context of Bangladesh are identified and corresponding thematic maps in district level are prepared. Composite drought vulnerability map is developed through the integration of those thematic maps. The risk is computed as the product of the hazard and vulnerability. The result shows that droughts pose highest risk to the northern and northwestern districts of Bangladesh.


Bangladesh Drought Hazard Vulnerability Risk GIS 



This work was supported by a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation to S. Shahid. Authors thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive and helpful feedback on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling, Institute of GeographyFriedrich-Schiller-Universität JenaJenaGermany

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