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Coastal hazards and community-coping methods in Bangladesh


Addressing one of the most vulnerable coastal communities in Bangladesh, this paper explores people’s perception and vulnerabilities to coastal hazards. At the same time, it investigates the methods that communities apply to cope with different coastal hazards. Findings revealed that people perceived an increase in both the intensity of hazards and their vulnerabilities. In spite of having a number of socio-economic and locational factors enhancing their vulnerabilities, the community is creating their own ways to cope with these hazards. For different aspects of life like shelter, employment, water supply, and health, communities apply different coping methods that vary with the types of hazard. Efforts have also been made by governments and NGOs to manage coastal hazards. By highlighting both community-coping methods and efforts of development organizations, this paper attempts to devise an integrated approach for managing the coastal hazards that occur in Bangladesh.

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Help and cooperation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) are greatly appreciated for the first phase of this study. Mr. Jeong Park, program coordinator of IFRC, is highly acknowledged. The second phase of this research was done with the financial support of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Research Grant. Cordial support of the vulnerable coastal community of Hatia and enthusiastic efforts of seven postgraduate students of the Urban and Regional Planning Department (URP) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has contributed to data collection. Local NGOs of Hatia such as, DUS, RIC, HASI, Proshika, BRAC, and the ASA are acknowledged for helping with necessary information. Especially, Mr. Rafiqul Islam, head of Dwip Unnayan Sangstha (DUS) extended his great help by providing accommodation and guidance during field visits.

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Correspondence to Gulsan Ara Parvin.

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Parvin, G.A., Takahashi, F. & Shaw, R. Coastal hazards and community-coping methods in Bangladesh. J Coast Conserv 12, 181–193 (2008).

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