Urban Drought pp 113-129 | Cite as

Resilience to Water-Related Disasters: Risks, Vulnerabilities and Coping Strategies in Dhaka

  • Md. Anwarul AbedinEmail author
  • Mohammad Golam Kibria
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Climate change has become one of the major developmental concerns of countries in the Bay of Bengal region, which is already causing setbacks such as flooding, waterlogging, and drinking water problem. Around 3.49 billion people or more than half the world’s population lives in urban area, of which 827.6 million are slum dwellers. Dhaka the mega city of Bangladesh covering an area of 360 km2 contains more than 20.0 million people that noticeably creates huge burden on water-related disaster, especially flooding. Dhaka receives about 2,000 mm of rainfall annually, of which almost 80% falls during the monsoon. Water crisis is a major problem in Dhaka city due to overexploitation of groundwater and limitations in water supply throughout the city. On the other hand, floods are also one of the main natural hazards affecting the city and are associated with river water overflow, groundwater depletion due to overexploitation of water during dry period, and rainwater stagnation. The drainage capacity of the city has also decreased alarmingly due to the development of unauthorized settlements. Illegal occupation of drainage canals and wetlands by land grabbers has further contributed to the problem. Furthermore, the risk of drought and subsequently flooding is aggravated through rapid urbanization and concurrent encroachment on retention areas, as well as increasing problems with both the natural and man-made drainage system. Therefore, this paper explores the risk and vulnerabilities of water-related disasters and their management framework, which has now been accepted by the government as well as causes of water crisis in Dhaka city with their possible remediation strategies. It is envisaged that the concepts put forward in this framework will be of immense value in planning future strategies to cope with the problem of flooding and water crisis in Dhaka city.


  1. Azharul Haq K (2006) Water management in Dhaka. Water Res Dev 22(2):291–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Azim Uddin AFM, Baten MA (2011) Water supply of Dhaka city: murky future-the issue of access and inequality. Unnayan Onneshan-the innovatorsGoogle Scholar
  3. Bashar T, Rashid S (2012) Urban microfinance and urban poverty in Bangladesh. J Asia Pac Econ 17(1):151–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BBS (1999) Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Bangladesh Compendium of Environmental StatisticsGoogle Scholar
  5. Enamul Haq SK (1 June 2017) Water crisis all around Dhaka. The Daily Star. Retrieved from
  6. Faisal IM, Kabir MR, Nishat A (2003) The disastrous flood of 1998 and long-term mitigation strategies for Dhaka City. Nat Hazards 28:85–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mahmud MS, Masrur A, Ishtiaque A, Haider F, Habiba U (2011) Remote sensing and GIS based spatio-temporal change analysis of wetland in Dhaka city. Bangladesh. J Water Res Prot 11:781–787Google Scholar
  8. Parvin GA, Ahsan SR, Shaw R (2013) Urban risk reduction approaches in BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  9. Pipkin BW, Cummings D (1983) Environmental geology—practical exercises. Belmont Star Publishing Company, California, p 215Google Scholar
  10. Rabbani MDG (2009) Environmental risks in Dhaka: present initiatives and the future improvements. In: Shaw R, Srinivas H, Sharma A (eds) Urban risk reduction: an Asian perspective. Emerald, United Kingdom, pp 319–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Rahman AA, Alam M (2005) Dhaka city—state of environment (SOE) UNEP, Dhaka. Online available at
  12. Report of the Task Forces (RTF) on Bangladesh Development Strategies for the 1990s—environment policy (vol 4), 1991. University Press Limited, Dhaka, 265 ppGoogle Scholar
  13. Shaw R (2013) Urban disaster risk reduction framework: assessing urban resilience in world vision project sites in Bangladesh, China, and Indonesia—final report, 1 April 2013. World Vision International. SingaporeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceBangladesh Agricultural UniversityMymensinghBangladesh

Personalised recommendations